Alcatel has announced that the UMTS radio and core network it has been deploying for tele.ring, an innovative GSM/GPRS and UMTS mobile operator in Austria, has allowed tele.ring to launch its UMTS commercial service in nine cities of Austria including Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz, corresponding to approximately 30% of the Austrian population.
Based on Alcatel's multi-standard Evolium infrastructure, tele.ring's UMTS deployment started in May 2003. Following this deployment, tele.ring's UMTS commercial service started at the end of 2003.
Alcatel had already supplied tele.ring with its Evolium solution for its GSM/GPRS commercial service. Leveraging the natively multi-standard Evolium design, introducing the UMTS capability in tele.ring's network was carried out as an upgrade of selected coverage areas of the operator's existing GSM/GPRS network, along with the necessary network densification required by the 3G-specific traffic patterns and usage models.
Building upon Evolium's multi-standard capabilities, tele.ring is therefore one of the first truly multi-standard commercial networks in the world, offering GSM, GPRS and UMTS on the same infrastructure technology.
Furthermore, Alcatel has already shipped standard base station equipment with UMTS "plug & play" capabilities to over 50 networks worldwide, making UMTS possible in a cost-effective manner.
To ensure that its subscribers can enjoy seamless service access, whatever the access technology used, tele.ring proposes a packaged subscription scheme for GSM/GPRS and UMTS access. Thanks to Alcatel's user-centric solution, tele.ring's coverage also allows for smooth handovers between GSM/GPRS cells and UMTS cells.
"Since the start of its activity, tele.ring has an innovative approach to answering the needs of the Austrian population. Alcatel's technology precisely meets our strategy to provide our customers with high quality services in a cost effective manner," declared Michael Krammer, chief executive officer of tele.ring. "Thanks to Alcatel's dedicated expert team and multi-standard solutions, we are ready to start new and useful services at best prices to comply with future demand of our customers."
Jean-Charles Doineau, research director at Ovum, added: "This news comes as a good illustration of Alcatel's strategy. They have been the first vendor to market truly multi-standard infrastructure, which is an approach towards which the industry may converge."
"Austria is a highly sophisticated and competitive market, a real test-bed for the introduction of successful multimedia services in Europe." stated Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel's mobile activities. "As the single supplier of all tele.ring's GSM/GPRS/UMTS network, Alcatel is fully committed to the success of tele.ring's unique technology- agnostic approach. tele.ring is definitely a perfect illustration of Alcatel's capability to provide mobile operators with end-to-end and multi-standard network solutions allowing innovative multimedia services."
Alcatel's UMTS solutions are a reality today, with more than 20 UMTS pilot networks delivered in Europe and in Asia. Evolium SAS, the Alcatel-Fujitsu joint venture, delivers a mobile infrastructure that is 3GPP-compliant, field-proven, future-safe and capitalizes on Japanese 3G technical and field experience.