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In a first for Nokia, they’ll resell another maker’s phones: SK Teletech, a subsidiary of SK Telecom, continues to make interesting inroads into advanced cell markets, this time by agreeing to resell what’s reported as seven million EVDO phones this year to Nokia. It shows Nokia is faltering in the face of 3G, as well; they should have had their own EVDO phone to offer carriers.
Orange said it has launched a trial of IPWireless gear in Lille, France: The trial is aimed at helping the operator determine how best to use its TDD frequency. Most UMTS operators in Europe received TDD spectrum in addition to the FDD used by their W-CDMA networks. Just recently the operators seem to be really investigating their options for how to best use the TDD band. They don’t actually have tons of options. Most of the European regulatory bodies require operators to only deploy technologies in the UMTS bands that are approved by the 3GPP, which is a group of standardization bodies. IPWireless’ technology is approved by 3GPP as part of the UMTS family of standards.
Even though IPWireless’ technology is a mobile solution, operators in Europe vary on whether they’ll deploy a mobile solution or introduce a fixed, DSL replacement. They may decide on a market-by-market basis. Some operators are dedicated to their HSDPA upgrades to enable mobile data applications, planning to use their TDD spectrum for a fixed broadband offering, especially in markets that don’t already have tons of competition for broadband services to the home. Others talk of a converged IPWireless/W-CDMA solution that may enable the higher speed connectivity in pockets. The Orange trial appears to be a mobile offering.
Flarion has also been targeting cellular operators in hopes of winning deployments of its broadband wireless technologies. But Flarion faces challenges in Europe in that it isn’t part of the 3GPP family. That means it has regulatory hurdles to scale before UMTS operators can deploy its technology.
Alltel adds EVDO to three cities: Alltel is a national cellular carrier with significant footprints in lesser-served parts of the U.S., like Nebraska; with mergers in process, they’ll be south (but just barely) of T-Mobile. Their footprint means that their deployment of EVDO could have more of an impact than a carrier like Verizon putting EVDO into a city with many kinds of connectivity already available. The initial cities covered with EVDO are Tampa, Cleveland, and Akron. Service will be $70 per month for unlimited usage.
Xdrive offers file viewing, redirection through wireless devices: Xdrive is one of several online storage firms that provide gigabytes of personal, shared, or enterprise storage that’s remotely accessible. Their new offering can reformat files for viewing on handsets and PDAs, as well as allow users to send files via email or fax from storage. Xdrive rates start at $9.95 per month for 5 GB of storage for a single user.
Sony Ericsson plans four-mode PC Card with Wi-Fi and Kyocera offers EVDO router: PC Magazine reports on two upcoming options for aiding laptop connections to the Internet via cellular data networks.
Sony Ericsson’s $80 PC Card will include GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and Wi-Fi, with full security support on the Wi-Fi side. T-Mobile and Cingular will likely offer this card for $50 as part of a service bundle.
Meanwhile, Kyocera showed off its EVDO router, a device that routes EVDO connections from the cellular network to local Ethernet and Wi-Fi. This is an interesting option, but it’s worth pointing out that at least two other companies have offered the same kind of product for some months, most notably the Seattle-based Junxion with their Junxion Box that supports a whole host of PC Cards. They’ve been working with a national firm that resells to system integrators, so their pipeline has been running for many months.
Welcome to WNN’s latest blog on cellular data: In an industry where the number three comes after two but before two and a half, there’s room to explain what’s going on.
Cellular data networking got its start in the U.S. with 19.2 kilobit-per-second CDPD (cellular digital packet data), the first of many band-aids that the industry pasted over the cracks in its voice-oriented cellular networks to provide data services.
These days, carriers worldwide are trying to deploy third-generation (3G) cell data networks that can carry potentially megabits per second per user. The U.S. has lagged the rest of the world, pushing out 2.5G data networks that handle above-dial-up speeds to allow a transition while much needed spectrum is cobbled together for the 3G deployments currently underway and planned for the next year or two.
In this blog, we’ll cover the worldwide industry with some focus on the U.S., and especially try to decipher the array of new technology in use or coming down the pipeline for deployment, like HSDPA and 4G. We’ll bring you the same kind of industry coverage, product review, and first-hand reporting that we’ve specialized in at Wi-Fi Networking News for the last four years. We welcome your feedback, and sign up to receive news via email at the upper left of any page.