Orange Launches UK’s First EDGE Network

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Orange today launched the UK’s first live EDGE network, providing its customers with faster data speeds when using advanced mobile services such as email-on-the-move, the Internet, and music and video downloads. Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is an industry recognised technology that provides download and browsing speeds that are up to three-times faster than GPRS. Orange tested the EDGE network throughout 2005 and now has 300 network sites enabled for EDGE across the UK. Orange intends to have over 1,500 sites enabled for EDGE by the end of the year.

The EDGE network complements Orange’s existing 3G network by providing enhanced delivery of advanced mobile services and by extending Orange UK’s coverage for high data speeds. The Orange EDGE radio network is based on technology designed and supplied by Nokia and is live on the Orange network today.

Bernard Ghillebaert, Executive Vice President of Orange UK, said: “Orange is consistently recognised as having both the largest integrated second and third generation mobile network for data, and for delivering the best quality of service. The addition of EDGE strengthens our ability to offer both businesses and consumers access to high-speed data services in the UK.”

At launch, there are five 3G and EDGE-enabled handsets in the Orange portfolio - the Nokia 6280, 6630, 6680 and N70, and the SPV M5000 (developed for Orange by Taiwanese manufacturer HTC).

In addition, Orange will also introduce two new EDGE-enabled products to the UK business market this quarter - the BlackBerry® 8700g(tm) and Business Everywhere laptop data card. Business Everywhere users will benefit from the best network for business and seamless access to the EDGE, 3G, GPRS.and Wifi networks. The BlackBerry 8700g features an Intel processor and a re-engineered device platform that supports faster Web browsing and application performance.

Across Europe, Orange now has EDGE networks in UK, France, Slovakia, Romania, Poland and Belgium (Mobistar).

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