DALLAS — Vodafone AirTouch* [NYSE/LSE: VOD] and Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] will conduct a Wireless Internet trial in Dallas beginning in March to demonstrate a packet-based, IP (Internet Protocol) architecture designed to offer service providers an order of magnitude improvement in the cost to deliver high-quality wireless voice and data services for consumers.
The trial is expected to show that the cost of wireless service can be significantly reduced by transforming today's circuit-switched networks to Unified Networks* solutions using packet technology, industry-standard servers and third-generation (3G) radio technology.
Part of an ongoing, cooperative effort to understand the drivers, economics and technical realities of an all-IP wireless network, the trial is also expected to showcase an open architectural foundation for a new generation of high-value, revenue-generating Wireless Internet services.
"We anticipate that more efficient wireless networks based on IP and packet technology will allow us to bring greater value and service differentiation to our customers while reducing our operating costs," said Bill Keever, executive vice president, network and systems operations, AirTouch Cellular. "Our Wireless Internet trial with Nortel Networks will help us to develop a better understanding of the dramatic changes ahead for wireless networks, and the architectures required to address them."
"We've driven down the cost of long distance and, with this architecture, we expect to do the same for wireless while providing the foundation for a new generation of services," said Hermon Pon, chief technology officer, wireless solutions, Nortel Networks.
"Working with leading-edge customers like Vodafone AirTouch, we're driving the evolution of a profitable new Internet—a high-performance, highly-reliable engine for economic growth," Pon said. "Together, we have the networking, radio, IP and real-world customer experience to help make the Wireless Internet a successful commercial reality."
The trial will incorporate Nortel Networks' CDMA Metro Cell radio base stations—using cdmaOne* digital radio technology—with a backbone network featuring Nortel Networks' Passport* packet switching equipment. The base stations will be upgraded to include cdma2000* 1XRTT 3G radio technology later in the year.
Vodafone AirTouch and Nortel Networks are also working together on a 3G wireless trial in the UK. Announced in December, this trial includes IP networking and W-CDMA 3G wireless radio technology.
Vodafone AirTouch Plc, based in the United Kingdom, is the world's largest wireless communications firm. It has mobile operations in 24 countries on five continents, with more than 35.5 million proportionate cellular customers. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.vodafone-airtouch-plc.com.
Nortel Networks is a global leader in telephony, data, eBusiness, and wireless solutions for the Internet. The Company had 1999 U.S. GAAP revenues of US$21.3 billion and serves carrier, service provider and enterprise customers globally. Today, Nortel Networks is creating a high-performance Internet that is more reliable and faster than ever before. It is redefining the economics and quality of networking and the Internet through Unified Networks* that promise a new era of collaboration, communications and commerce. Visit us at www.nortelnetworks.com.
*Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks logo, the Globemark, Unified Networks, Passport and How the world shares ideas are trademarks of Nortel Networks. cdmaOne is a trademark of the CDMA Development Group. cdma2000 is a trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).