AT&T Wireless today announced agreements with Nortel Networks and Ericsson to deploy what is expected to be the first commercial W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple band Access) wireless network in North America. The W-CDMA network can support high speed VPN access, audio and video applications, as well as advanced location-based and m-Commerce features. In December 2002, AT&T Wireless and DoCoMo announced an agreement to work togetherto launch four U.S. markets using W-CDMA by the end of 2004. The announced 3G build andcommercial launch of service in these markets will complement AT&T Wireless’ national high speed EDGE network.
“These agreements position us to meet our DoCoMo commitments on time and on budget,” said Eric Updyke, Vice President – 3G Program Management. “Our deployment of W-CDMA service will complement our nationwide EDGE deployment, further differentiating AT&T Wireless as the industry leader in bringing a new generation of mobile multimedia services to customers.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in our drive to deploy W-CDMA in four markets by the end of 2004,” said Updyke. “The selection of two proven network providers adds flexibility and horsepower to the project, and brings a tremendous amount of intellectual capital to bear against our goal. The combined strength of Ericsson, Nortel Networks, and AT&T Wireless represents a powerful combination that we’re confident will achieve our goals.”
The W-CDMA networks will allow AT&T Wireless to significantly increase subscriber capacity, reduce networking costs and increase data speeds required for delivering wireless broadband 3G services to consumers and enterprise customers.
“Nortel Networks applauds AT&T Wireless for its leadership in the move to a new level of service and capabilities for the wireless industry,” said Pascal Debon,president, Wireless Networks, Nortel Networks. “We look forward to building on our success in delivering next generation wireless services with AT&T Wireless, first through the deployment of a high-speed packet core network, and now through this milestone deployment of W-CDMA radio access.”
“Since Ericsson and AT&T Wireless deployed the world’s first 1900 MHz UMTS demo system in Dallas last December, we have learned a lot about what it will take to deliver commercial grade third-generation services in the United States,” said Toby Seay, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Ericsson Inc.’s AT&T Wireless customer team. “We now look forward to applying that knowledge together to help AT&T Wireless provide its customers true 3G services on schedule.”
The W-CDMA radio equipment will operate on the 1900 MHz spectrum and use the same core equipment AT&T Wireless currently employs to support advanced voice and data services through GPRS and EDGE radio technologies. The deployments will also support an all IP-based network architecture, significantly streamlining network functions.