Australia to get trial 3G network next month

Australia to get trial 3G network next month

Telstra, Alcatel and the m.Net consortium will give Australia its first look at 3G (third-generation) mobile telephony during the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2002 next month in Adelaide.

M.Net will deliver broadband wireless Web content such as streaming video, using W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G infrastructure from Alcatel and cell locations and spectrum provided by Telstra, WCIT organizers said.

After the congress, the 384M bps (bits per second) network will be offered as a testbed for developers of 3G applications, and will be extended into a pre-commercial 3G and wireless LAN project in Adelaide designed to promote development of leading-edge mobile products and services, m.Net said.

In March last year, six Australian 3G spectrum licenses were acquired by Telstra, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) subsidiary Optus, Vodafone Pacific, Qualcomm-linked 3G Investments, CKW Wireless and Hutchison Telecommunications Australia. The bidders paid a total of A$1.17 billion (US$590 million).

These companies are expected to start rolling out commercial 3G networks from early 2003.

Speakers at WCIT and the related IT business forum include former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Stanford University law professor and cyberlaw expert Lawrence Lessig and Howard Schmidt, formerly chief security officer of Microsoft and recently appointed vice chair of U.S. President George Bush's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

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