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Ericsson and Telstra achieve 200km coverage

Ericsson and Telstra achieve world-first 200km coverage range for mobile broadband

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Australian operator Telstra have achieved a significant milestone: the launch of the world’s first 200km cell range in a commercial mobile broadband network. This was announced today at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona by Ericsson President and CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg.

Just four months after the launch of Telstra’s Next G network, Ericsson's Extended Range software has been installed and activated in selected mountaintop sites across Australia, supporting all 3G services over extensive geographical areas.

Sol Trujillo, Telstra Chief Executive Officer, said Telstra had displayed global leadership when it built the "turbocharged" Next G network in 10 months.

“Since launching Next G with HSDPA, Telstra has doubled the volume of total data traffic carried on all of its wireless networks,” Trujillo said.

The Ericsson solution enables coverage up to 200km from a base station, a major leap from the 50km range typically supported today. This is particularly important for users who want to take advantage of the high-speed network from remote locations on and off-shore (including planes, ships, and oil-rigs). Extended Range gives Telstra a unique opportunity to offer ever-improving service capabilities to customers via their mobile devices, data cards, or home-networking services.

The software upgrade means the Next G network data capacity has now been tripled. The advanced software employs High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology to achieve peak network speeds of up to 1.9Mbps in the uplink and 14.4Mbps in the downlink. Downlink speeds of 2.3Mbps at a 200km range have also been achieved during testing. This also provides an increase in overall capacity for existing Next G customers, even in the network’s busiest periods.

“These are both world-first achievements on any nationwide wireless network,” Trujillo said.

Telstra’s Next G network coverage provides mobile broadband access to 98.8 percent of Australians, covering 1.9 million square kilometres.

Ericsson's Carl-Henric Svanberg said he was pleased to be a founding partner of Telstra’s Next G test bed.

“Ericsson is fully committed to the continued evolution of mobile networks and looks forward to stretching the boundaries of technology,” he said.

Already, the Next G test bed is testing 7.2Mbps data cards for launch in mid-2007 on Telstra’s 14.4Mbps capable Next G network.

”The benefits of 3GSM technology and HSPA could not have been economically taken to extensively to regional and remote Australia without the use of 850 MHz spectrum and the Ericsson software enhancements to extend the range and capacity of the network,” Trujillo concluded.

ENDS

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