Ericsson to Speed Up EDGE Networks by 2009

Ericsson has announced plans to launch EDGE Evolution, as software upgrade of existing EDGE telecom infrastructure, by 2009. Billing it as EDGE Evolution, they claim it will boost existing EDGE data speeds by up to 300 percent and will significantly improve latency, coverage, and spectrum efficiency. It is essentially a software update to existing network equipment though no word if current edge enabled handsets will be able to make use of this new technology.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA, explains: “EDGE Evolution is an important step for single mode GSM and multimode GSM/WCDMA operators to support their current business and to the service continuity in GSM networks. EDGE Evolution is envisaged to only have a low impact on the existing EDGE capable GSM networks; however, it will lower service delivery costs considerably and make new services and higher data revenues possible. When it comes to WCDMA/HSPA subscribers, they can roam outside WCDMA/HSPA coverage and still use the services they are accustomed to.”

Leading GSM/3G suppliers Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens are fully committed to bringing the benefits of EDGE Evolution to the marketplace. The first standardization release, 3GPP release 7, is envisaged to be ready in 2006.

If this theoretical upgrade pans out and is widely deployed, it could end up being a unexpected but very welcome speed boost to owners of older GSM handsets and smartphones. Treo 650 and 680 devices (assuming these devices have compatible chipsets and hardware) will certainly be huge beneficiaries of any network improvements. The lifespan of Palm OS Garnet could also see a feasible extension as a result of EDGE Evolution, seeing as it does not require a multitasking OS kernel unlike its newer stablemates UMTS & HSDPA.

The Global mobile Suppliers Association reports strong acceptance of EDGE globally, pointing to its research completed on March 4, 2005 which confirmed 131 network operators in 76 countries committed to EDGE deployments. A total of 63 networks are delivering commercial EDGE-enabled services in 41 countries today.

Thanks to EngadgetMobile for the tip.

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Yippee... nevermind.

phoneboy @ 3/15/2007 2:37:47 PM # Q
As a current EDGE data user, this caught my eye. Then I re-read the "by 2009" part. Oh joy. It's like hearing of a new technology that drastically increases the picture quality of my VHS VCR... almost to DVD resolution! Useless.

I pity the fool still using EDGE in '09.

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RE: Yippee... nevermind.
hkklife @ 3/15/2007 4:26:59 PM # Q
Actually....the Treo 650 launched in fall '04 and was widely available until fairly recently. So if the 680 lasts anywhere near that long (launched n fall '06) then it should enjoy at least a year or so in production concurrent with the EDGE Evolution rollout. I think this sort of thing will be targeted primarily at smaller markets and/or to countries with less-advanced wireless infrastructure.

While a faster EDGE might not be great for you or I now, much less in '09, for many people in the world whose sole piece of computing/gaming/communication/media/imaging equipment would be something like a Treo, every little bit of increased speed or connectivity enhancement would be welcome.

Also, what about someone traveling globally with their GSM device? I am sure that the Treo-wielding roadwarrior in Timbuktu would be delighted to find ANY kind of signal, EDGE or otherwise.

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Edge still has an 'edge'

asiayeah @ 3/16/2007 6:03:17 PM # Q
One of the major advantages of Edge over other mobile data access
technologies is cost. Indeed, many carriers in the world is providing unlimited GPRS or EDGE access at a very affordable cost.

With great power comes great responsiblity.
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