Wednesday, February 08, 2006

MTN to launch HSDPA

Are you, like me, getting a little confused with all of the achronims bouncing around the technology world today? Prepare yourself for even more. Today, MTN launched an advancement of 3G which was better than GPRS which was better than GSM. Tired yet?

MTN is on track to deliver commercial High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) or 3G Evolved services to customers this year, says Ashraff Paruk, General Manager of Business Strategy, MTN South Africa.

‘’MTN has identified pilot sites to roll-out HSDPA or 3G Evolved Services and has kicked off the acquisition and infrastructure process. Gauteng is our key market at this stage,’’ Paruk says.

3G Evolved is ideal for applications such as mobile and interactive TV, enhanced video telephony, multiplayer gaming and information sharing. HSPDA or 3G Evolved will enable users to work faster and smarter through enjoying improved business and home mobility. For example by using HSDPA the user will be able to download of a 3MB file in just 12 seconds as opposed to 3G 68 seconds which means an 81% time saving. System capacity will improve three-fold.

MTN achieved its first HSDPA call to corporate customers on 29 November 2005, offering users additional speed, bandwidth and applications. HSDPA improves the end-user experience by increasing peak downlink data speeds initially to 1.8 Mbps (megabits per second) with a maximum potential of 14 Mbps in the future.

Paruk says: ‘’MTN is already offering customers the Sierra Wireless AC850 datacard and a variety of other quad cards that offer 3G Evolved services will be available before launch. We expect roll-out to proceed at a rapid pace.

‘’Customers want seamless transmission between voice, video and data. MTN has been at the forefront of achieving this for customers since we launched our commercial 3G service last June. Rest assured, we are delivering on our promise to provide a pervasive wireless broadband service to all subscribers as part of our multi-bearer data strategy.’’

MTN’s services on the network include voice calls, data connections including GPRS and offers seamless changes between 3G, EDGE and GPRS on different speeds. MTN has 100% GPRS coverage in South Africa and nearly four million handsets are in circulation. MTN offers EDGE customers data speeds of up to 236 kbps. Currently in excess of 30% of MTN’s sites offer EDGE and over 800 000 handsets are in circulation. MTN’s 3G network currently offers data speeds of up to 384 kbps.

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