O2 and Nortel have completed live mobile test calls using an emerging technology known as High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which the firms claim is three times faster than today's commercial 3G networks.
The test calls were designed to assess the capability of HSDPA to offer next-generation services including DVD-quality film and video, high-resolution interactive gaming, multimedia music tracks, 'push-to-watch' services and access to large email attachments.
HSDPA is a migration technology for the Universal Mobile Telecoms System (UMTS) wireless standard used by wireless operators across Europe, Japan and North America to deliver voice and data services.
It boosts network capacity to carry up to three times as much data traffic, and up to twice as many wireless users per cell site, compared to today's 3G UMTS networks.
In the test calls, a 5MB music file was downloaded in less than 15 seconds, compared to two minutes over a traditional dial-up connection.
A 45MB MPEG video file was downloaded in about three minutes, compared to 15 minutes over dial-up. An email with a 5MB attachment was downloaded in 20 seconds.
The test calls were completed as a first phase of planned Nortel deployments across portions of O2's European UMTS network.
"We are looking forward to deploying this broadband technology in Europe, and to delivering a newer and better experience to our business and consumer customers," said Dave Williams, group chief technology officer at O2.
Commercial field trials of the Nortel HSDPA system will begin in the second quarter of 2005 and are expected to include an integrated, commercial data card product.
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