Momentum Grows Behind Mobile Broadband at 850Mhz

    850MHz Accounts for More Than 40% of Global HSPA Connections

    LONDON, June 17 /CNW/ - The number of mobile broadband (HSPA) connections
in the 850MHz frequency band worldwide has leapt to more than 13 million from
1.3 million one year ago thanks to rapid growth in the Americas and Australia,
according to Wireless Intelligence, a unit of the GSMA, the global body for
the mobile industry. This fast growing market is attracting more handset
manufacturers and helping them achieve economies of scale, driving down the
cost of 850MHz phones and other devices for consumers. There are now 44
companies producing 133 HSPA devices compatible with the 850MHz band.
    Use of the existing GSM bands, such as 850MHz and 900MHz, and other low
frequency bands enables mobile operators to expand broadband coverage much
more cost-effectively than they can using higher frequencies. Radio signals
travel much further at these frequencies than they do at 2100MHz, the other
main band currently used for HSPA mobile broadband services, reducing the
number of base stations required to cover any given area.
    "The strong demand for mobile broadband services at 850MHz in the
Americas and 900MHz in Europe and elsewhere, combined with the broad
geographic coverage provided by these networks, underlines the huge potential
of low frequency spectrum bands to bring broadband to many more people," said
Tom Phillips, Chief Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA.
Another potential source of low frequency spectrum are the bands currently
used for analogue terrestrial television broadcasting. "The switchover to
digital television has created a golden opportunity for governments worldwide
to allocate more low frequency spectrum to mobile services and close the
digital divide between urban and rural areas."
    There are now more than 18 HSPA networks at 850MHz worldwide. The GSMA
expects that number to continue to grow as operators in the Americas look to
upgrade their GSM networks operating at that frequency. According to Wireless
Intelligence, there are now 309 million GSM connections at 850MHz worldwide.
    "Using the 850 MHz spectrum band, Telstra rapidly deployed a highly
advanced nationwide mobile broadband network - the Telstra Next G(TM)
network," said Mike Wright, Telstra's Executive Director of Wireless. "This
week, we will commence the world's first network trial, with our partner
Ericsson, of HSPA+ at 850MHz, providing speeds of 21 Mbps and beyond. We are
planning to commence deployment of network download speeds of up to 21 Mbps by
the end of this year."
    "AT&T has delivered HSPA service at 850 MHz wherever possible, with more
on the way this year as we redeploy additional 850 spectrum previously used
for our TDMA network," said Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President, Architecture
and Planning, AT&T. "More high-quality spectrum added to our HSPA network
creates a tremendous advantage for our customers. AT&T included the ability
for devices to leverage the 850 spectrum for HSPA beginning with our initial
launch in 2005."

    About the GSMA:

    The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing
more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories
of the world. The Association's members represent more than 3 billion GSM and
3GSM connections - over 86% of the world's mobile phone connections. In
addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association's
initiatives as key partners.

For further information:

For further information: David Pringle, GSM Association,
+44-(0)7957556069, Email:

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