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Open technology would expand mobile network, Nokia says

Posted: 22 Feb 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nokia? networking? 3gsm world congress? wireless? internet protocol?

Nokia is pushing for broader industry collaboration in the mobile infrastructure and services business, and has created a new unit to resell elements of its networking architecture to further its cause.

Without open technology and industry collaboration, it will be difficult to achieve a cost-effective, all-Internet Protocol mobile network, the company said at the 3GSM World Congress here, where it announced its initiative.

"Till now, the communications industry has been rather vertical?each vendor has their own hardware, middleware and applications," said J.T. Bergqvist, senior vice president of Nokia Networks. "This type of industry structure will not support efficiently high amounts of data. We need a totally different cost structure in wide-area coverage systems."

Bergqvist called for other vendors to join Nokia's efforts to open development of network elements. "Nokia will want to share technology with other infrastructure vendors," he said.

The company's newly-created Technology Modules unit will develop products and sell them both to Nokia's systems business and to competitors. Nokia has already approached several potential customers, and the unit's first products will be available in the middle of this year.

Bergqvist said the challenge for network equipment designers is to lower infrastructure costs for operators that want to offer new services that will require ten times the mobile bandwidth needed for current offerings. Open technology will work to that end, he said.

As part of its plan, Nokia announced its Open IP Basestation Architecture proposal, under which it is calling for infrastructure vendors and module suppliers to pool their skills in creating shared platforms and modules that would be made available on the open market.

One of the first elements of this strategy is a linear transceiver module (LTX), which Bergqvist called "one of the most precious parts of the base station architecture." Nokia is prepared to share this technology with others, he said.

Nokia also said Wednesday (Feb. 20) that it has teamed up with Siemens AG to work towards a new standard for broadband s.

?John Walko

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