[LINK] EVDO, Navini, Flarion and/or WiMax?
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Nov 15 21:47:51 EST 2004
Telstra switches on EVDO
NOVEMBER 15, 2004
TELSTRA will formally launch its new 2.4 Mbps EVDO 3G mobile network
In addition to its mainstream role of providing high speed mobile data to
Telstra's corporate customers, Telstra is also eyeing the EVDO (Evolution
Data Optimised) network as a possible means of getting broadband internet
to customers beyond the reach of its DSL-equipped exchanges.
The EVDO network, dubbed by Telstra as Mobile Broadband, is an upgrade to
the existing CDMA 1xRTT service .. EVDO is a data-only network, with users
continuing to use the wide-ranging CDMA network for voice. Telstra is also
promising a "seamless hand over" between EVDO and the existing CDMA 1xRTT
data network, which is scheduled to have the same 98 per cent of population
coverage as CDMA by the end of the year.
Telstra had spent around $50 million upgrading its CDMA network to the EVDO
standard. "We can get quite substantial coverage around the country for a
couple of times that," Telstra director of mobile sales and solutions
Murray Bergin said.
To convert to EVDO, older CDMA base stations needed card and software
upgrades, while newer ones required just software, Mr Bergin said. "One of
the reasons EVDO is so attractive to us is that it is a very low-cost
option for us," he said. The EVDO standard has a theoretical peak data rate
of 2.4Mbps, with real world speeds averaging between 300kbps and 600kbps,
according to Telstra.
By comparison, Hutchison's 3 service delivers real world data rates in the
range of 280kbps, with a theoretical maximum of 384kbps.
The high data rate and long range brought EVDO into consideration for
possible use as a means of providing residential broadband services in the
future, Mr Bergin said.
Telstra had trialled the Navini standard used by Sydney wireless ISP
Unwired and continued to experiment with the 802.20 Flarion wireless
broadband standard, Mr Bergin said. "We have looked at it for what we call
DSL infill, and we continue to evaluate it for that. It's one of the
reasons that we are still trialing Flarion," he said.
802.11-based WiFi or the newer 802.16 WiMax standards were also possible
contenders for wireless broadband to the home, he said. "There are a number
of different ways we could go, and I'd expect us to make those decisions in
the second half of next year and to do a bit more about it in the following
year," Mr Bergin said.
While under consideration for residential broadband, EVDO's main use would
be the corporate mobile data market, with a particular focus on the
mobility options contained in Microsoft's Exchange 2003 product, Mr Bergin
Mr Bergin conceded that Telstra would be one of the few operators in the
world running parallel 3G networks. "We have always been a bit like that
because of the geography of the country. The footprint that you get from
CDMA, 1xRTT and EVDO base stations is bigger than what you would get from
any of the GSM equivalents," he said.
Telstra will launch the EVDO service tomorrow with the i-mate PDA2K handset
and the Sierra PC card as access devices. Telstra had an additional 10
handsets already in use in Korea under evaluation for use in Australia, Mr
Telstra will initially offer time based plans using 15 minute blocks
priced between $29 and $149 per month, as well as per kilobyte data-based
plans for between $5 and $249 per month. Casual rates will also be
available. "As we get network usage up and unit cost down, we will be
reviewing our pricing," Mr Bergin said. Coverage would also extend once
network usage increased, he said.
Existing CDMA supplier Nortel provided equipment for the EVDO upgrade.
Cheers all ..
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