Nortel banks on 4G

Last week we reported of 4G developments in South Korea, but the Europeans are not standing still. Say what you will about Nortel, but the company puts its money where its mouth is: Last week the company sold its 3G access business to Alcatel so it could concentrate on developing OFDM-based 4G equipment for use in core operator networks. 4G mobile data services will offer up to 40 Mbps of bandwidth to end-users. Darryl Edwards, European president of Nortel, boldly told Computing that OFDM-based rather than WiMAX-based 4G would be the cornerstone of mobile multimedia services such as IPTV in the future. "UMTS was built for optimizing voice and data, not video or multimedia," he said. "4G will be built for that and will offer users 40 Mbps or more [of mobile bandwidth]. The trick is how you reduce costs on the network."

There have been several 4G trials in Japan and the U.S.--with reports that bandwidth of up to 2.5 Gbps being achieved in test conditions. Sprint Nextel already announced plans to develop and deploy a WiMAX-based 4G broadband mobile network across the U.S.

By the way: Why did Nortel sell its 3G business? "We would have loved to stay in 3G," Edwards said. "We had a great portfolio but not the scale of someone like Alcatel or Huawei and that's why we sold the business."

For more on Nortel 4G moves:
- see Martin Courtney's Computing report

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