MANHASSET, N.Y. German wireless vendor T-Mobile International publicly acknowledged that is conducting wireless broadband trials in Holland using pre-standard 802.20 equipment.
The operator, which is the parent company to T-Mobile USA and a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, acknowledged that it has launched a market trail in The Hague, Netherlands using equipment from Flarion Technologies. The trials have been long rumored, but this is the first official confirmation by either T-Mobile or Flarion.
Flarion, which calls its equipment FLASH-OFDM, is also providing equipment for a similar trial in North Carolina being conducted by Nextel, as well as trials by telecom operators in Australia and Japan. In a statement, the companies said that several companies in Holland take place in the trial. Flarion said that typical download speeds will be about 900 Kbps and latency will be 50 milliseconds or less.
In a statement, Flarion said T-Mobile has been testing the equipment since last year and is now ready to collect data on usage and customer behavior. T-Mobile would not say, however, what it's long term plans are for the technology.
"T-Mobile is constantly investigating and screening new mobile broadband technologies," Dr. Hans-Eckhard Kr¼ger, T-Mobile's executive vice president for systems engineering, said in a statement. "As a leader in existing wireless broadband technologies like 3G and Wi-Fi, we are eager to learn more about future technologies."
Equipment based on the 802.20 standard is competing for the attention of telecom operators and other service providers with equipment based on the 802.16, or WiMAX standard. Neither standard has been fully ratified by the IEEE, although Intel, a big supporter of WiMAX, says it expects fully certified equipment to ship early next year.