REDMOND, Wash. Ericsson and AT&T Wireless have just made the first W-CDMA/UMTS call in a live-network environment in the Americas. With initial packet data speeds up to 384 kbits/second, the call demonstrates true third-generation (3G) cellular capabilities, including quick downloads of such applications as e-mail with attachments and streaming audio and video, the companies said.
The joint effort is part of a trial of the first 1,900-MHz wideband code-division multiple-access Universal Mobile Telecommunications System in the Americas. It will have more than 100 cell sites in the Dallas area by the end of the year. Ericsson is providing the complete W-CDMA/UMTS setup the core network, the radio access network and mobile terminals. The small Sony Ericsson test units being used are based on technology developed by Ericsson Mobile Platforms.
"This is a landmark in the development of UMTS/W-CDMA in the 1,900-MHz frequency and its progress in the Americas," said Angel Ruiz, president and chief executive officer of Ericsson Inc. "Elsewhere in the world we've only seen live tests in the 2-GHz band."
In their 3G efforts in the United States, AT&T Wireless and Ericsson are deploying Edge-ready GSM/GPRS systems, a path they feel will ensure a smooth evolution to Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution and then UMTS, a wideband-radio technology that provides mobile users with data rates up to 2 Mbits/s.