Nokia and AT&T Wireless On Track to Deliver 3G Services
(June 04, 2001)
Companies' close collaboration will fine tune UMTS digital technology
Redmond, Washington and Irving, Texas -- Businesses and consumers in the United States will not be left out of the "wireless evolution' as Nokia and AT&T Wireless continue working on digital standards that promise to deliver streaming video, CD-quality audio and other content-rich services to mobile phones, PDAs and laptops over an IP-based network.
The companies, currently working on a high speed 3G technology known as Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE), have now expanded their focus to include developing and testing the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) technology that will be the foundation of 3G multimedia services. The project includes testing UMTS and the protocols that will enable voice, data and video services to run on a highly efficient IP-based network.
"We are convinced of the significant competitive advantages for all AMPS/TDMA/GSM operators to participate now in the deployment of EDGE/UMTS business solutions for global 3G service,' stated Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless Services. "The specifications developed by the global GSM and TDMA community over the last two years offer a broad range of transition and deployment options for global 3G services with the greatest flexibility for subscribers and operators. The range of options include: GAIT handsets, GSM/GPRS deployment options in all 2G spectral bands (both initial and overlay), rapid and cost-effective upgrades to EDGE and UMTS 3G capabilities on a common global GPRS-evolved core network, and an overwhelming global scale of product options. The bottom line is delivering advanced wireless services that customers want and need around the corner and around the world. That's what 3G is really all about.'
"The close work between our companies has already reaped a huge amount of practical experience, which will be critical for AT&T Wireless to bring the first 3G services to the U.S.," said Dr. JT Bergqvist, senior vice president, 3G Business, Nokia Networks. "By extending this work to UMTS in addition to our current cooperation on EDGE, we are ready to demonstrate that all the elements will be in place for reliable, commercial deployment. It is a clear sign of the maturity of UMTS technology, as well as our system and our cooperation with a key customer."
In the past year, the two companies have completed several milestones in the trial project, including Voice over IP (VoIP) using Session Initiated Protocol (SIP) call control, Adaptive Multi-Rate speech codec (AMR), streaming audio and video, and simultaneous voice and data calls with Quality of Service (QoS) scheduling and handover.
The current cooperation agreement builds upon these milestones to begin validation of key technologies of the Nokia All-IP solution: IPv6, UMTS, and IP-based Service Architecture.
IPv6 updates the current version of the Internet protocol (IPv4) to allow a virtually limitless number of IP addresses, removing restrictions on the number of people or devices that can be accessed over the Internet in the future. This will be essential for operators to cater to the expected hundreds of millions of users of the Mobile Internet, and to establish proper quality of service and security in IP networks. Nokia was the first manufacturer to announce an All-IP mobility core for 3G networks based on IPv6.
Nokia and AT&T Wireless will base their validation efforts on releases R4 and R5 of the 3GPP International Standards for EDGE and UMTS high-capacity radio-interface technology. Release R4 brings improved packet traffic capabilities in the air interface, while R5 introduces All-IP-based core network standards, bringing end-to-end IP into the core network. IP-based service architecture (IPSA) is the solution used to create and provision advanced services in All-IP networks. Nokia anticipates that packet-switched traffic will exceed circuit switched in the mobility core network by 2005, and Nokia is committed to be first to start implementing the All-IP Mobility Core in 2002.
AT&T Wireless announced it would begin overlaying GSM/GPRS on its TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) network this year and is on schedule to begin introducing 2.5G service. The company will begin adding EDGE & UMTS in the 2002-2003 timeframe to provide the higher data rates that will make "true' 3G services such as streaming media using wireless devices practical. Nokia Networks will provide AT&T Wireless with GPRS-ready 850 and 1900 MHz radio network systems designed for seamless evolution to 3G, further supporting AT&T Wireless in its evolution to EDGE and UMTS third-generation services.
Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Backed by its experience, innovation, user-friendliness and secure solutions, the company has become the leading supplier of mobile phones and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed broadband and IP networks. By adding mobility to the Internet, Nokia creates new opportunities for companies and further enriches the daily lives of people. Nokia is a broadly held company with listings on six major exchanges.
About AT&T Wireless
AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) operates one of the largest digital wireless networks in North America. With more than 17 million subscribers, including partnerships and affiliates, and revenues exceeding $10 billion, AT&T Wireless is committed to being among the first to deliver the next generation of wireless products and services. Today, we offer customers high-quality wireless communications services, whether mobile or fixed, voice or data, to businesses or consumers, in the U.S. and internationally. AT&T Wireless Customer Advantage is our commitment to ensure that customers have the right equipment, the right calling plan, and the right customer services options -- today and tomorrow. For more information, please visit us at www.attwireless.com
The foregoing statements, which are not historical facts, including, without limitation to those regarding 1) the timing of product deliveries, 2) AT&T's and/or Nokia's ability to develop new products and technologies, 3) expectations regarding market growth and developments, and 4) expectations for growth and profitability, are "forward-looking statements". Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside AT&T's or Nokia's control, that could cause actual results of AT&T and/or Nokia to differ materially from such statements and the results currently expected by AT&T and/or Nokia. For a more detailed description of the factors that could cause such a difference, please see AT&T's and Nokia's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T and Nokia disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.