Alcatel officially launched its 3G Reality Centre in Cascais today. This unique facility is a live and comprehensive end-to-end network environment dedicated to the development, validation and testing of advanced mobile data applications and services for both 2.5G/GPRS and 3G/UMTS in Portugal. The facility in Cascais is the latest-born 3G Reality Centre within Alcatel's worldwide program.
This 3G Reality Centre will allow the mobile community in Portugal and in Europe to investigate the potential of 3G/UMTS applications and services. It is intended to foster the development and testing of some of the most exciting next-generation mobile applications and services, such as watching one's football team score its winning goal; finding and booking a hotel; accessing e-mail whilst travelling to business meetings; watching the latest movies previews or playing interactive games with people across the world.
The Cascais 3G Reality Centre represents the opportunity for the wireless community, more specifically next-generation content suppliers as well as application providers, to test and launch innovative mobile data services.
"The Portuguese mobile market with world "premieres" such as prepaid services in 1995, GPRS in 2000, and with a fast mobile market development is a perfect environment for the successful launch of 3G mobile applications and services in Europe," said Rui Candeias Fernandes, Alcatel Portugal CEO. "Today's announcement represents another major step on the way to successfully roll out 3G services in Portugal."
"We are making progress every day and achieving significant milestones with 3G technology, applications and services, all of which provide Portugal and especially TMN with invaluable experience and learning," said Jacques Dunogu, president, Alcatel EMAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India). "This has already culminated in the demonstration, together with TMN, of public videophony calls over a 3G network for the first time in Portugal last May. These premieres have been achieved in the framework of the International Day of Telecommunications in Lisbon and of the TMN "4 Million- subscribers" celebration in Oporto."
Marc Rouanne, President of Alcatel's Mobile Networks activities, added, "We are proud to announce this important step today, 5 months after having signed a contract with TMN for the supply of its 3G/UMTS network around the greater Lisbon area. The 3G Reality Centre opening in Cascais marks a measurable milestone in the world-wide chain Alcatel is setting up, to help mobile operators, local content and applications providers benefit from the fantastic opportunities generated by the upcoming mobile data market take-off."
Alcatel's 3G Reality Centre program is a worldwide initiative with special emphasis on 3G/UMTS in Europe and Asia. Alcatel's 3G Reality Centres offer Alcatel and its partners, including local content and applications providers as well as handset suppliers, a live and comprehensive end-to-end environment for the development, validation and testing of advanced mobile applications and data services, in the field of 2.5G/GPRS, EDGE and 3G/UMTS. Alcatel's 3G Reality Centre is the first in its concept integrating not only an infrastructure, but also a permanent show room. Additional launches are planned in the coming weeks, built on existing Alcatel 3G infrastructures in Rijswick (Netherlands), Paris (France), Vimercate (Italy) and Stuttgart (Germany), joining those existing in Shanghai (China), Malm (Sweden) and Taiwan. Other centres are scheduled to be launched in Asia Pacific before year-end.
Visitors to this Centre can personally experience 3G communications with voice in circuit mode, as well as data and high-speed video images in packet mode, including web browsing and file transfers, video casting, interactive gaming, video streaming and video on demand (VOD). All this is running on the latest Evolium 3G equipment and solutions, leveraging Alcatel's expertise in GSM, GPRS, and EDGE as well as in ATM and IP technologies, combined with the advanced experience of Fujitsu as supplier of NTT DoCoMo, which has had a UMTS commercial network in service in Japan since May 2001.