GSA, the Global mobile Suppliers Association, has published an update to the UMTS900 Global Status Information Paper, reporting on network deployments, launches, trials, regulatory developments, and devices availability.
The paper confirms the strong momentum for introducing UMTS900 to help operators to extend voice, data and mobile broadband services coverage by leveraging the advantages of lower frequencies. While the majority of today's HSPA mobile broadband networks operate in the 2100 MHz band, the use of lower frequencies, such as 900 MHz, provides a much larger coverage area. This translates to a significant reduction in the number of cell sites needed to cover rural and suburban areas.
GSA recently published an operator case study on Elisa, Finland which concluded that 3G coverage with UMTS900 can save 50 to 70% of mobile network costs when compared to deployments in the 2100 MHz band, including both CAPEX and OPEX.
These cost and coverage benefits also apply to the deployment of UMTS in other lower frequency bands such as 850 MHz.
Alan Hadden, President, GSA said, "The availability of UMTS900-compatible devices is improving. This update confirms that 37 devices have now been launched, supporting data speeds comparable with 2100 MHz devices, and the 900/2100MHz combination for WCDMA-HSPA is expected to become much more commonplace."
UMTS900 Workshops in Cape Town and Dubai Announced
GSA is co-hosting two UMTS900 workshops that will provide information and insights on the benefits of deploying WCDMA-HSPA systems in the 900MHz band, including increased coverage and in-building penetration, as well as lower CAPEX and OPEX relative to WCDMA-HSPA deployed at 2100MHz.
Held in conjunction with the AfricaCom and GSM>3G Middle East conferences, the workshops - which are free to attend, will also address the challenges faced by operators in deploying UMTS900, including regulatory considerations, fragmented spectrum allocations, co-existence with GSM900 and the availability of UMTS900 devices.
AfricaCom UMTS900 workshop November 20, 2008
Cape Town International Convention Centre
GSM 3G Middle East UMTS900 Workshop December 17, 2008 Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre