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.