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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