Following the successful completion of the piloting and test program, Nokia has started shipments of the Nokia 6650 mobile phone to selected mobile operators and retailers in Europe and Asia, including Japan. Operators will now be able to provide their customers with the Nokia 6650 as a standard GSM phone, a WCDMA phone or a dual-mode GSM/WCDMA phone, depending on their network architecture. The Nokia 6650 is the first mobile phone in the market capable of seamless hand-overs between GSM and WCDMA systems in a dual-mode network.
Consumers will be able to enjoy global roaming on all GSM900/1800 networks globally as well as on WCDMA networks in Japan and Europe. Those operators building WCDMA coverage to complement their existing GSM900/1800 coverage can now offer high data speed services of up to 384 kbps with WCDMA, while having the full coverage of the GSM900/1800 grid in a single terminal with proven dual system capabilities, tested for interoperability across the full range of functionality with the leading infrastructure vendors.
"The Nokia 6650 is a perfect companion for the traveling business professional, who needs both high-speed data services, such as the fast downloading of emails to his laptop and access to information services, as well as extensive roaming. For a Japanese user, the Nokia 6650 offers seamless roaming in Europe and Asia, and for a GSM user, seamless roaming in Japan," said Juha Putkiranta, Senior Vice President, Nokia Mobile Phones.
He adds:"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people who took part in our biggest ever field pilot and testing program, in which we have been successfully working out interoperability challenges and enhancing the phone's capabilities. Almost 20 000 Nokia 6650 phones were used in the pilot program. The commercial availability of the Nokia 6650 will open the road for the commercial 3G service experience."
The availability of services utilizing WCDMA technology is determined by individual operator plans. As a result, availability of the Nokia 6650 will vary by country and by operator. The first operator shipments of the Nokia 6650 commercial release will be delivered to J-Phone and mobilkom austria during June. Nokia expects that during the second half of 2003, approximately 20 operators worldwide will introduce WCDMA either as their main radio technology or as a complementary enhancement to their existing GSM network.
Consumers are already using a number of 3G services in current networks: multimedia messaging, various types of downloading, sending and receiving videos. While the underlying technology is transparent to the consumer, mobile phone users will see the benefits of WCDMA in faster and more convenient service delivery, and in the introduction and availability of new services, such as multitasking.