Qualcomm Incorporated, Telefónica España and Huawei Technologies today announced the completion of a 3G UMTS and HSDPA field trial using 900 MHz spectrum in Talarrubias, located in the Extremadura region of Spain. The trial results validated that UMTS can co-exist with GSM at 900 MHz. Furthermore, it was proven that the propagation advantage of 900 MHz may be used to extend the significant spectral efficiency gains of UMTS for voice and data coverage relative to 2100 MHz that is currently used in European 3G markets.
UMTS/HSDPA technology at 900 MHz spectrum makes the delivery of voice and high-speed 3G services more cost effective as compared to 2100 MHz because at lower frequencies, the propagation advantage allows for a significant increase in the area covered by a base station. This advantage translates to significant cost savings for operators and better in-building coverage to improve the overall user experience for their customers.
Under Telefónica's guidance, Qualcomm's Engineering Services Group (ESG) led the execution of the UMTS 900 technology trial that involved Huawei UMTS/HSDPA 900 MHz base station products and Qualcomm's Mobile Station Modem™ (MSM™) chipset-based terminals.
“UMTS 900 enables far superior signal penetration for in-building coverage than at 2100 MHz, which will improve the user experience significantly,” said Mr. Yu Chengdong, wireless president, Huawei Technologies. “The band also allows for far fewer cell sites, which reduces network build-out costs to reach the desired coverage and quality in all areas. The trial demonstrates that infrastructure solutions are mature for commercial deployment.”
“The European mobile industry stands to benefit significantly from the potential redeployment of the 900 MHz band for UMTS/HSDPA. Qualcomm is working with its European partners to drive the development of products and services in this band at a nascent stage through the leadership of our dedicated European Engineering Services Group,” explained Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president and president of Qualcomm Internet Services, MediaFLO Technologies and Qualcomm Europe.
“The financial and network advantages are numerous for operators redeploying in the 900 Mhz band currently used for 2G services. However, consumers will also find that their experience of 3G is richer and more rewarding, which will drive the development of new revenue streams for all members of the value chain in Europe,” Gilbert concluded.
“UMTS 900 is an excellent frequency for both urban and rural areas, as base stations will provide broader and stronger coverage, both external and in-building, than the 2100 MHz frequency spectrum currently being used by European operators,” said Mario Perez, Network Access Development Director of Mobile Business Unit in Telefónica España. “Working with Huawei and Qualcomm on this trial has confirmed that we may use UMTS 900 to extend our 3G service offerings more rapidly.”
With offices in Europe, Qualcomm's Engineering Services Group (ESG) partners with operators and vendors to assist in the successful deployment, optimization and evolution of 3G HSPA and UMTS networks. ESG offers expertise in 3GPP standards, including developments in UMTS/HSPA and OFDM-based technologies. ESG's hands-on engineering approach provides operators with tailored solutions in areas such as RF design, coverage and capacity planning, network optimization, and new technology trials.