Nortel, QUALCOMM and Orange said they successfully completed UMTS and HSDPA calls in the 900 MHz band, where GSM 2G systems reside. W-CDMA in the 900 MHz band is a cost effective way to deliver nationwide high-speed wireless coverage because significantly less cell sites are required to serve rural areas. It also delivers improved QoS in urban areas by enhancing in-building penetration by 25 percent. Orange wants to use W-CDMA in the 900 MHz band to complement its 3G rollouts in the 2.1 GHz band in France.
Hmmm. 3G services were not allowed in GSM bands when countries auctioned off their 3G spectrum for exorbitant amounts of money, a factor that almost killed the 3G market. It's not clear that 3G is allowed in the 900 MHz band now either, but it looks like at least France is taking the choke hold off now that 3G networks are established, realizing that it's pretty expensive to put in a nationwide 3G network at that high of a frequency.
For more about Orange's 900 MHz W-CDMA tests:
- read this article from cellular-news.com