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Siemens optimistic on 3G, fixed-to-mobile convergence

Posted: 26 Feb 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:siemens? 3g? mobile? multimedia subsystems?

After three years of waffling on predictions of the thus far slow-to-start 3G roll-out, Siemens predicted an optimistic future for 3G market at its press conference Monday (February 23, 2004).

The company projected there will be 5 million 3G subscribers by the end of 2004, increasing to 40 million in 2005 and 100 million by 2006.

While acknowledging that the 3G network roll-out is "long overdue," Lothar Pauly, a board member with Siemens Mobile, said 3G is, in fact, growing twice as fast as the uptake in GSM. In 2003, said Pauly, "the 2 million subscriber mark was passed" after the rollouts of the first 3G networks began in 2002.

Beyond 3G services and networks, Siemens is highlighting at the show several new technologies designed to increase new revenue sources for its customers: fixed-mobile convergence, push-to-talk over IP multimedia subsystems and convergent online charging.

The goal is to make a convergence between indoor and outdoor, fixed and mobile services possible, by offering seamless handover between networks from fixed line to mobile, including wireless LAN, GPRS, Edge and High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA).

Toward that goal, Siemens announced a new, open network platform called "Next Generation Telecom Architecture." It also unveil new partnerships with Intel and Cisco.

Siemens is pitching its telecom architecture for use in core networks both by mobile network and fixed network operators. Siemens plans to deploy in an open telecom architecture a maximum number of standardized components, including PC-based server hardware, a carrier-grade Linux operating system and middleware. Siemens will partner with Intel to have Intel's high-scale processor running on the server platform.

Siemens said it is also collaborating with Cisco Systems to manage the convergence of IP-based and mobile networks, allowing both voice and data to be transmitted at the same time. Siemens is sourcing from Cisco an IP transport platform that provides pure IP routing functions.

According to Pauly, the first commercial use of the company's IP-based multimedia subsystem is push-to-talk services that enable consumers to use a mobile phone like a walkie-talkie. By taking advantage of the GPRS always-on function, a user can receive a voice message automatically without having to reach for the phone. Siemens claimed that it will be the first vendor to deliver a complete, standardized push-to-talk solution ranging from infrastructure to applications and handsets.

Siemens also announced it is adding a new push-to-talk application called "push-to-flirt." The dating application allows users to register anonymously, exchange photos and videos anonymously, and then switch to the push-to-talk mode to talk directly with other subscribers.

-Junko Yoshida

EE Times

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