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mobilkom austria UMTS Network, Austria




Key Data


In April 2003, mobilkom austria was the first operator to commercially launch UMTS in Austria. The network allows for data services, including video streaming, at speeds of up to 384Kbit/s. Between the technical launch in September 2002 and the commercial launch in April 2003, population coverage of 42% has been achieved with 1,000 UMTS base stations and a total investment of €72 million. Coverage at the time of the launch included the 54 major urban centres in Austria with the exception of Salzburg.

mobilkom austria is the mobile subsidiary of Telekom Austria AG and was the leading wireless network provider in Austria at the time of its 3G launch.

3G RADIO EQUIPMENT

mobilkom austria's radio and network equipment suppliers for the 3G network are Ericsson and Nortel Networks to facilitate, among other services, a fully functional video telephony service over long distance.

The mobilkom austria contract with Nortel Networks was signed March 2001 and covered the packet and circuit core technology and radio coverage in a number of major Austrian urban centres. CarrierCom AG undertook system integration and infrastructure deployment of Nortel Networks technology. The order includes Gateway GPRS Support Nodes (GGSN) and Serving GPRS Support Nodes (SGSN).

UMTS NETWORK TESTING

mobilkom austria employs the Actix Rollout Verification Solution (RVS) and Accelerated Network Rollout (ANR) technology for UMTS network optimisation.

Due to limited handset availability at the time of its network launch, mobilkom austria ordered the solutions to overcome testing problems arising out of the lack of an extensive handset range for logging test data on phones while expanding its UMTS network. By using both ANR and RVS technology, mobilkom austria can integrate handset data as well as scanner data to achieve a more holistic performance test of its network.

NETWORK OPTIMISATION THROUGH SMART ANTENNA USAGE

Symena "CAPESSO" technology is used by mobilkom austria to optimise UMTS base stations while expanding network capacity with existing radio equipment hardware. Austria's geographic constitution poses a number of challenges to the operator as mountains can potentially cause base station (BS) signal interference.

CAPESSO technology integrates more parameters into BS signal strength calculation and hence identifies how to increase network efficiency and capacity by using smart antennas at critical points to eliminate the need for higher base station density.

3G BILLING SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

Intec Telecom Systems and Hewlett-Packard supplied mobilkom austria with InterconnecT and InterconnecT PREP offering advanced billing capabilities for operation of its 3G network. The solution enables tracking traffic for inter-carrier billing as the number of third-party application and content providers increases with the launch of advanced, 3G voice and data services. The system offers full capability to support number portability and duplicate call record detection.

MOBILKOM AUSTRIA 3G PRICING MODEL

At the time of the commercial network launch, mobilkom austria aspired to offer simple price plans for usage of advanced voice and data services. Using a 3G service will incur the user no additional monthly rental and 3G voice call charges as well as SMS and MMS tariffs are equal to tariffs charged for the same services under 2G. Hence, data services can be used at much higher speeds than under 2G while incurring the same, familiar charges.

Video telephony services introduced with 3G are charged at €0.50 and upwards, determined by the type of content streamed, i.e. video telephone calls, short movie trailers or sports scenes etc. without incurring extra access charges.

As an introductory offer, mobilkom austria decided to offer free 3G services to the consumer market until mid-July 2003.

USIM CARD DELIVERY AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS

mobilkom austria selected Gemplus as USIM card supplier. The GemXplore 3G card is GSM and UMTS compatible and allows for seamless migration between the two network types. Gemplus further supplied its service software development tool, GemXplore CASE for 3G.

LEAD CONTRACTORS

mobilkom austria, a subsidiary of Telekom Austria AG is the operator. Radio network equipment suppliers are Ericsson and Nortel Networks. Actix supplied solutions for UMTS network testing. Billing systems providers are Intec Telecom Systems and Hewlett-Packard. Symena delivered "CAPESSO" technology for network efficiency evaluation. Gemplus is USIM card provider.