Tag: umts

100 million new UMTS subscribers in past year

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3G Americas, a wireless industry trade association, is reporting that UMTS/HSPA technology has grown in a big way over the past year, adding over 100 million subscriptions in the twelve months ending in Q3 2008.

“As evidenced by the subscriber growth numbers, the GSM family of technologies continues to provide the four key ingredients for mobile wireless success: Coverage, Technology Performance, Devices and Applications,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “The UMTS/HSPA mobile broadband technology achieved a total of 262 million subscriptions at the end of September 2008, continuing in its ranking as the leader in high speed mobile broadband technology worldwide.”

To date, there are 39 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in the Americas region in 19 countries. Worldwide, there are more than 256 commercial UMTS/HSPA networks in over 100 countries. Without these networks, our BlackBerry Bolds Around the Word map (which is in sore need of an update) would be a lot less full.

|via CN|

GSA says UMTS900 provides better and cheaper 3G coverage

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The average BlackBerry user likely doesn’t think much about technology behind the networks that provide their daily communication fix, but it plays an important role in both the cost and coverage of their BlackBerry. The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) has published an operator case study on Finland’s Elisa network which it says shows significant cost and coverage benefits of deploying 3G services in the 900 MHz spectrum band.

According to Dr. Eetu Prieur, Head of Access Networks for Elisa, “3G coverage with UMTS900 can save 50 to 70% of our mobile network costs versus UMTS2100. And that includes both CAPEX and OPEX.”

While the majority of 3G/HSPA networks operate in the 2100 MHz band, lower frequencies provide a much larger coverage area when compared to 2100 MHz. In Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, carriers use the 900 Mhz band, which cuts the number of cell sites needed to cover rural and suburban areas in half, providing major CAPEX and OPEX savings for 3G deployments. In North America, we rely upon the 850 MHz band, which provides the same coverage and savings benefits.

So what does this all mean? The next time you’re in a rural area reading BBCool on your BlackBerry with 3G coverage, thank low frequency bands like 850/900. Of course, because of the lack of international standardization, if you have a North American Bold, good luck getting the same coverage in, say, rural France (the Charente region is lovely this time of year). Oh well.

Download the GSA 3G report

(via CN)

BlackBerry Thunder Update: tons of network support, no hope for N.A. unlocking

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The Boy Genius continues to filter through the black swamp of tech rumors to deliver us the goods, this time with an update for the BlackBerry Thunder, the exclusive touch screen BlackBerry for Verizon he broke news of during WES.

A few things stand out: first, the Thunder will not have an external microSD slot, meaning you’re going to have to pop the battery to access it, as if it were a BlackBerry Curve. Once you’ve popped that battery, however, you’ll see a SIM card sitting next to it. BG has also heard that the BlackBerry will support CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA, making it a very slick hybrid device. Of course, North American readers can forget about unlocking it for use on, say, AT&T: like the BlackBerry 8830, the Thunder will only use CDMA coverage while inside the great US of A — which doesn’t matter much seeing as the BlackBerry will only support the international 900/1800MHz bands with 2100MHz WCDMA band anyways.

BG is still saying Q3 release this year for the Thunder. We keep you in the know as more information develops.

(via Boy Genius Report)

RIM and 3 launch 8707g in Sweden

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3 and RIM have announced the launch of the BlackBerry 8707g for customers in Sweden. That area hasn’t seen a lot of BlackBerry devices before so it’s good to see RIM expanding like this. The UMTS-enabled 8707g has a full QWERTY keyboard, and Cognos has modified their Go business intelligence system to work for the device. Additionally, 3 has pledged that they will collaborate with VM-data when customers need assistance integrating with existing business systems.

OS 5.0 due by year’s end, 8900 at WES?

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BlackBerry 8/9XXX In addition to tacking UMTS on the new BlackBerry’s feature list and adding further confusion to whether we’ll call it the BlackBerry 8900 or 9000, Jibi has let loose news that work has begun on OS 5.0 and could be out by the end of the year. No word on features, but considering it’s a fairly hefty generational jump from 4.3, we can either expect big changes in the new OS or a lot of incremental upgrades over the course of the year. As for naming conventions, it doesn’t look like it really deserves a class on its own (being so similar to the 8800 and all), but most BlackBerry series are based more on chassis than anything else, so a 9000 designation is still in the cards. Hopefully we can get a clearer idea before the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in May. If you’ve got any other ideas on what else is going to happen this year, you should check out our Weekly Contest

AT&T’s HTC Tilt getting BlackBerry Connect

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By snooping around some early documents for AT&T’s unreleased Tilt, PDAStreet has confirmed that the HTC device will support BlackBerry Connect. In terms of specs, “the quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE smartphone should support AT&T’s UMTS/HSDPA 3G data network and include GPS, a 2.8 megapixel camera, 400MHZ CPU, a Windows Mobile 6-friendly 128MB of RAM, 256MB of ROM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, and high-capacity 1500mAH battery.” Release date is sometime soon, so if you’re in the market for push e-mail and 3G, this could be an option for you. When it eventually does hit the shelves, you’ll be looking at a $500 pricetag and two-years signed away.

Report: 3G BlackBerrys won’t hurt you

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Doctor BlackBerryA quick sigh of relief can now go out to all the BlackBerry 8707 users in the world. A team of independent scientists at the UK’s University of Essex are reporting that symptoms such as anxiety, tension and tiredness, previously thought to be related to mobile devices, are not caused by the typical emissions from 3G phone masts.

Essex tested 44 people who had previously reported symptoms or sensitivity to mobile phone technology, and 114 people who had not reported any health effects, at a specially-designed laboratory. The three-year study found that physiological measures such as heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductance were not affected by whether the mast was switched on or off, and did not detect any significant effects in either sensitive or control participants between 3G UMTS exposure and no exposure.

Of course, the study didn’t test the effects of 3G EV-DO use (which we’ve heard causes consumption) or how 3G affects the ever dreaded CrackBerry syndrome, but still good news all around. There you have it RIM: you now have absolutely no excuse to not put a 3G GSM BlackBerry in the hands of North Americans by the end of the year.

Breaking down Balsillie: conference call quotes

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RIM CEO Jim BalsillieWe’ve seen a busy 7 days in the wireless industry, with RIM and Palm’s financial statements and the launch of what savvy tech blogs have dubbed the “Jesus Phone“. Also, with Canadian’s recovering from extended national celebration, and Americans preparing for one, it’s possible that some salient facts surrounding Jim Balsille’s comments during Thursdays conference call/webcast have been overlooked. We’ve gone back over our live blog to pull out the important bits — and our thoughts on their implications — for ya.

What’s on Jim Dog’s mind?

WiMAX steps up to UMTS

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Mobile WiMAX is making some headway in Europe, gaining ground on UMTS. The International Telecommunication Union has decided that OFDM-based technologies, such as WiMAX should be included in the ITU’s international IMT2000 standard. European countries such as Norway, Sweden, and the UK are touting the decision as a step towards fair play in the future of wireless technology.

“This is a good sign for technology neutrality becoming the accepted approach for spectrum auctions in the future,” says ABI Research analyst Ian Cox. “Mobile WiMAX products will start to appear in 2007 and can be used in unpaired spectrum, giving them an opportunity not available to UMTS.”

It’s good to see regulators realizing how huge WiMAX is going to be and paving the way for it to happen.

Mobile WiMAX to have 8% market share by 2012

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Perceptive readers of BlackBerry Cool will notice that we’ve been all aboard the WiMAX train lately, even though BlackBerry Wi-Fi is still very nascent. That’s why we’re excited by news coming from Parks Associates, who have forecasted that Mobile WiMAX will connect 8% of the world’s 1.1 billion mobile broadband subscribers in the year 2000… and 12. That’s about 88 million subscribers worldwide, for the folks keeping score at home. Parks Associates also reported that 52% of these subscribers will derive from Asia, with the Americas accounting for another 28%.

“Today, most existing WiMAX deployments are the province of aspiring start-up service providers or incumbent telecom carriers looking to fill coverage gaps,” said Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, Director of Broadband and Gaming, Parks Associates. “The imminent availability of commercial products and increasing availability of spectrum around the world will change the market for mobile WiMAX and make it viable among major service providers. Taiwan alone will have eight million mobile WiMAX subscribers by 2012.”

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