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RECAP: O2 Germany's HSPA+ Launch Press Conference in Munich
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 03.11.09 - 19:41:59 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 14082x
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Today, in time with the public launch of its commercial HSPA+ network in Munich, Telefónica O2 Germany hosted a press event at its HQ in Munich. Here, O2 Germany demonstrated today's available development of HSPA+, together with Huawei, which builds O2 Germany's wireless core network and is also the vendor of the first available HSPA+ dongles.
During the press event, O2 Germany also unveiled that it will shut-down the national roaming with T-Mobile Germany, which provided for the past 10 years the coverage in areas where O2 wasn't present so far. However, in the past years, O2 Germany invested around 3.5 billion Euro into its infrastructure that the carrier plans to provide 90 % indoor / 99.9 % outdoor 2G and 63 - 70 % UMTS/HSPA coverage from January 2010.

However, in addition to its existing GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA networks, O2 Germany today also launched HSPA+ commercially which will be initially available in parts of Munich only.

Based on Huawei's RAN11.0 technology, using either 64QAM or MIMO modulation, O2's HSPA+ network is able to provide download rates between 21 Mbps (64QAM - mainly used indoor) up to 28 Mbps (MIMO - mainly used outdoor) and upload rates of up to 5.76 Mbps. In a later development to Huawei's RAN12.0,  which combines 64QAM and MIMO, download rates of up to 42 Mbps are possible.

While the official HSPA+ was today, a nationwide roll-out isn't planned for the next 6 - 12 months and HSPA+ isn't yet buyable but O2 Germany contacted contemplable existing customers. These customers will receive the required HSPA+ Huawei E182E dongle from O2 as well as a flat-rate data pack, which can be used until end of this year - free of charge. However, it should be noticed, that the currently covered area is roughly 50 Km² only with a strong focus on Munich's northern-western part:

(Above the HSPA+ Nobe-Bs, not the actual HSPA+ coverage)

O2 Germany hasn't given an outlook to a possible HSPA+ pricing today but this public trial should show how HSPA+ is used under real world terms. O2 hopes to get hints how HSPA+ is used. Furthermore, and that's quite interesting, O2 Germany noticed, that a HSPA+ roll-out profile is possibly completely different from a voice network roll-out. While for vice, the inner-cities are quite interesting, with rural areas to follow, for HSPA+ inner-cities are the second important area only. More important might be commercial and industrial areas.
Therefore, the Frankfurter Römer might be equipped after Bürostadt Niederrad or Aschheim might be equipped before München Schwabing; where O2 can have a much stronger focus on business customers than on consumer customers.

In any case, the results during the press workshop looked quite promising; I'm definitely looking forward a broader roll-out across the borders of Munich!

Cheers ~ Arne


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