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NETWORK: T-Mobile USA migrates to EDGE
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 18.07.03 - 15:11:46 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 8523x
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T-Mobile USA and Ericsson have jointly announced an agreement to expand and upgrade the operator's wireless network with EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) services. This is to support further customer growth and demand for GPRS and higher-speed EDGE data networks.

The contract extension is valued at $500 million (448.47 million Euros). Under the deal, Ericsson will deploy the new networks in two new markets: Western Virginia and areas of New England and will upgrade the company's network infrastructure in 18 markets. "The deployments will enable T-Mobile USA to leverage and augment Ericsson's presence across our national footprint to provide greater capacity in a very cost-effective manner," said Tim Wong, responsible for Technology T-Mobile USA.

EDGE is a faster and upgraded version of GSM and is designed to deliver data at rates up to 384 Kbps and enable the delivery of multimedia and other broadband applications to mobile phone and computer users. The EDGE standard is built on the existing GSM standard, using the same time-division multiple access (TDMA) frame structure and existing cell arrangements. Ericsson notes that its base stations can be updated with software.

However, as far as I know, implementation of EDGE isn't that easy and cost efficient as it requires more hardware upgrades then the network vendors say. Normally EDGE isn't used that much in the GSM world since the EDGE implementation dropped into the same time frame where carriers moved forward 3G/UMTS implementation; so it really makes me wonder that T-Mobile USA is going with EDGE now (which is a 2.5/2.75 service instead of a 3G service) which might indicates that T-Mobile will not offer real 3G in the near future.

Thanks to fritzz for pointing me to this news!

Cheers ~ Arne

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