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T-Mobile UMTS / HSDPA Network, Germany




In the lead up to the launch of its UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) network in 2003 T-Mobile invested more than €140 million in the preparation of more than 3,000 UMTS sites and the necessary technical systems. Now the network is being upgraded to HSDPA standards.

NETWORK UPGRADE TO HSDPA

Siemens Communications Group is to upgrade T-Mobile's wireless networks in Germany and Austria with the 3G/W-CDMA data turbo High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). In addition, Siemens will also be expanding T-Mobile's 3G/W-CDMA networks in both countries.

Starting in Spring 2006, the new HSDPA solution will enable T-Mobile customers in Germany to initially download data to their mobile devices at speeds of up to 1.8Mbps.

This commercial high-speed 3G/W-CDMA contract will be carried out by Siemens, in conjunction with NEC who is a market leader in the 3G HSDPA sector. Until the launch in 2006 Siemens will be implementing its HSDPA solution and expanding the capacity of the existing 3G/W-CDMA networks in Austria and Germany to include additional Node B 880/881 base stations and radio network controllers for seamless handovers between 3G/W-CDMA wireless cells.

In the initial phase, the HSDPA solution from Siemens will achieve download rates as high as 2Mbps and uplink speeds of 384kbps. The download rates will gradually increase, reaching 7.2Mbps in the future.

The T-Mobile network initially supplied by Siemens and NEC in 2003 was already HSDPA-ready as it consists of 3G/W-CDMA base stations with the ability to be upgraded to the HSDPA data turbo by means of a software update.

UMTS NETWORK

The new network was launched in late 2003 in 200 towns and cities across Germany. This exceeded the minimum coverage of 25% of the German population required by the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts to meet the terms of their licence.

An agreement was arranged between T-Mobile Germany and Munich-based O2 Germany to allow O2 customers shared usage of the T-Mobile UMTS network in areas where there is no O2 UMTS coverage. This enabled O2 to offer its customers UMTS services for which the company paid T-Mobile €210 million in 2003.

CONTRACTORS AND INSTALLATION OF EQUIPMENT

Siemens, under a ten-year agreement, supplied the bulk of the switches and transmission gear for the UMTS network. The majority of the switches were supplied by NEC, through Mobisphere (a joint venture between Siemens and NEC).

Nortel Networks supplied the infrastructure equipment and services for the rollout of the UMTS network. This included a high-performance frame relay core network consisting of Nortel's Passport 7480 multiservice switch. The Passport 7480 was adopted to optimise bandwidth efficiency and support evolution to a UMTS wireless voice and data network with a common infrastructure. The system supports: Asynchronous Transport Mode (ATM), frame relay, IP VPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Networks), Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), circuit emulation (CES) and other voice and data services.

Lucent Technologies provided its Secure Mobile Data Solutions for Enterprises (SMDSe), which gives business users access to secure high-speed applications from a laptop PC or PDA. A key component was the 3GlobeTrotter™ UMTS wireless modem PCMCIA card developed by Lucent Technologies and Option (a high-speed data solutions manufacturer).

SchlumbergerSema provided the initial rollout of the UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card) smart card platform for the 3G UMTS networks. This involved provision of the complete solution, including cards, software development tools, specific applications, training, technical support, consulting and integration services.

NETWORK EXPANSION IN 2004

In 2004 T-Mobile Germany deployed Nortel Networks' intelligent packet core solution, which provided flexible billing options for their contract and pre-paid subscribers based on content accessed, time spent downloading, or volume of data downloaded. This was the second expansion of billing features for personalised mobile data services by T-Mobile International within its European networks, the first being carried out in late 2003.

The Nortel solution was also adopted to help drive lower operating costs, reducing the need for a complicated mix of routers, load balancers, firewalls and switches external to the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN). The packet core network was in addition to previous contracts agreed between the two companies. T-mobile also expanded its 11,000 WiFi hot-spot network in 2004 to around 20,000.

FUTURE UPGRADES TO SIEMENS / NEC SUPPLIED 3G EQUIPMENT

It is well known that over 30% of 3G base stations (Node Bs) in commercial service with wireless operators worldwide come from Siemens and NEC (Source: Multi-Media Research Institute, Worldwide W-CDMA Cellular Base Station Market Report, Tokyo 2005). Together with NEC, Siemens is already driving the expansion of its 3G/W-CDMA/HSDPA solution toward HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access). This will accelerate high-speed uplinks from today's rate of 384kbps to 1.4Mbps initially and subsequently to 5.8Mbps. Siemens and NEC expect to be able to accept the first orders for HSUPA in the second half of 2006.