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Orange WCDMA, Switzerland

Key Data

Orange Communications Switzerland SA is nearing the end of the installation of its wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) / high-speed down link packet access (HSDPA) network. The new network was scheduled for completion towards the end of 2004. Orange is already offering limited services to business users around Zurich but private customers will have to wait until early 2005 for full 3G access from the company.

The network should initially offer coverage for the equivalent of 50% of the population. Orange paid $32 million for the WCDMA licence in the December 2000 auction (frequencies 1,900MHz to 1,980MHz, 2,010MHz to 2,025MHz and 2,110MHz to 2,170MHz). The licence was granted for 15 years under the stipulation that network coverage should be 50% of the Swiss population by the end of 2004. The investment into the network is estimated at $666 million.

Orange Switzerland called on the services of Nokia to supply and install a complete WCDMA 3G network for the whole of Switzerland. Nokia are supplying both core and radio-access equipment for the network. Nokia was also involved in the installation of the Orange GSM / EDGE network in Switzerland (covering 99% of the population), which has been operating since 1998, with 1 million subscribers. The company has a long-standing relationship with Orange, having previously supplied WCDMA 3G networks to Orange UK and Orange France.


Nokia are supplying and installing a complete core and radio-access network, including a number of Nokia MetroSite Base Stations and a full core network, including both circuit-switching and packet-switching products. The agreement (which was renewed in November 2004) has included an option to deploy the Nokia Release 4 MSC Server to modernise the existing Orange Switzerland core network.

Nokia are providing a range of services for network installation, including project management, radio network implementation, commissioning, optimisation and network integration. In addition, Nokia are including technical support, spare part management and training services to maintain the network. The system will be supported by Nokia NetAct, a multi-vendor, multi-technology operations support system. Nokia are also supplying the latest WCDMA smart phone for use on the network, the Nokia 6630; this will be included in the Orange 3G handset range.

Orange Switzerland will also be using the Nokia NetAct Service Quality Manager for network and service monitoring; this allows it to monitor its MMS, SMS, GPRS and GSM services to maintain a high quality for subscribers. As part of the end-to-end WCDMA 3G offering, Nokia has also joined Orange Group in hosting the Series 60 Developer Challenge competition, which is generating new applications for Orange's 3G networks across Europe and Switzerland.


The Nokia MSC Server System is a new voice core network for 2G and 3G, which significantly reduces the cost of building and operating mobile networks. The system is a 3GPP Release 4 compliant MSC Server System which can handle GSM / EDGE and WCDMA services in the same network elements; this means that migration to combined GSM / WCDMA networks can be achieved at a greatly reduced cost. The system is also fully backwards compatible with GSM / EDGE and Release 99 WCDMA specifications and interfaces.

The MSC Server System allows operators to concentrate call control to larger centres, while also distributing switching functions to locations closer to traffic hot spots. It gives an excellent route to implement carrier-grade Voice over IP (VoIP) service in mobile networks.


Nokia MetroSite base stations are a 'siteless' option and are small and light enough to be installed anywhere, in any environment in a variety of different positions - including billboards, bus stops and lampposts. The flexibility gives cost savings of up to 30% in site and deployment and allows operators to build a larger more effective network for WCDMA services.

The ease of installation and 'portability' means that the network can be expanded by introducing more base stations very easily if required. The base stations are HSDPA-ready and will simultaneously support both WCDMA and HSDPA traffic, enabling telecoms operators to provide simultaneous voice and data services, delivering data at broadband speeds.

The Nokia MetroSite system includes a high-capacity base station, a base station controller, a transmission node and two integrated radio options for mobile transmission. Nokia MetroHopper Radio provides wireless access transmission between the base station controller and the base station using the 58GHz frequency, which was a technology pioneered by Nokia. The Nokia MetroSite system also supports the recently introduced Nokia FlexiHopper Microwave Radio in the traditional 13GHz to 38GHz range.


In addition to the Nokia 6630, the Orange range will include the LG U8150, Sony Ericsson Z1010, Samsung Z107 and Sanyo S750 under the Orange 'label'. All of the handsets will support video phone services and video downloads.

The Sanyo handset is the company's first in the European market and will include an integrated high definition camera. The Nokia 6630 is marketed as a 'smartphone' that combines 3G (WCDMA), EDGE and 2G (GSM 900/1800/1900) capabilities that can be used in dual and tri-band modes. The 6630 will also be able to send e-mail (128kbps) and receive e-mail (384kbps). Users will be able to be constantly connected to their e-mail system. The camera will also include a 1.3 mega-pixel camera with a 6x zoom (for still and video capture) and internal memory of 10MB with an MMC card of 64MB.