LTE: T-Mobile Austria tests with 60 base stations, as Ericsson eyes Nortel patents

Using 60 LTE base stations, T- Mobile Austria claims it has conducted the largest multi-user trial of LTE under real-life conditions. The company said the test network, which was switched on at the beginning of July, was focused on gaining feedback from consumers regarding their reactions to high-speed mobile broadband.

The LTE network--said to be the largest in Europe, is using equipment supplied by Huawei, and was based upon existing 3G infrastructure already installed by T-Mobile Austria in the city of Innsbruck. The operator said that consumers were being asked to judge the service--which is available in and around Innsbruck, on aspects such as quality, stability and reliability.

While not admitting how many consumers were involved with the trial, T-Mobile Austria said that the LTE network was capable of providing 50Mbps in both up- and downlink, and was offering services such as high-speed file transfer and high quality VoD. However, the company did confirm that earlier this year it had demonstrated speeds over 130Mbps over the air with four modems registered in a cell at the same time.

Separately, Ericsson has revealed that it might be interested in acquiring more of Nortel's technology, if offered for sale. This could see the Swedish company bidding for the 3,000 patents that Nortel still holds - including over 100 related to LTE, that Nortel former CEO, Mike Zafirovski, said may well be put up for sale.

While JPMorgan Chase said that royalties from the LTE patents could generate as much as US$2.9 billion over the lifespan of the technology, Ericsson have declined to comment on the value, saying there were too many variables to accurately predict future royalties.

However, Mark Henderson, president of Ericsson's Canadian unit, recently remarked that "any (Nortel) asset that came up for sale that was complementary to our business would be looked at."

For more on this story:
Cellular News
and Bloomberg

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