Vodafone to test fast wireless in Japan

Vodafone to test fast wireless in Japan


Vodafone is planning a field test later this year of a high-speed wireless data system that can deliver speeds of up to 3Mbps, the company has revealed.

Vodafone's research and development unit will run a field test in Tokyo of technology developed by Flarion Technologies.

The test is scheduled to run during the second half of this year, a spokesman for Vodafone, Matthew Nicholson, said.

The same system, called Flash (fast low-latency access with seamless handoff) OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing), is currently being tested by Nextel Communications in the US and SK Telecom in South Korea, general manager of Flarion for Australia, New Zealand and South Asia, Martin Christmas, said.

Flash-OFDM is a spread-spectrum technology that offers, according to the company, the same performance, security and throughput as users would experience if they were on a shared local area network.

Key features of the system included an all-Internet Protocol (IP) architecture and fast network response time, which was between five and 10 times that of third-generation (3G) cellular systems, the company said.

It is designed to link either notebook computers on the move or as a fixed wireless access (FWA) system to provide last-mile connectivity to homes and offices.

Each cell, which extends around five kilometers from the base station, offers a peak shared bandwidth of 3Mbps.

The average data rate, shared between all users in the same cell, was likely to be around 1.5Mbps, Christmas said.

Vodafone has yet to announce any plans to offer faster data transmission service but the spokesperson said the trials in Tokyo didn't mean that Vodafone Japan or the Vodafone Group would necessarily be using the technology.

"It's important to stress that group R&D tests a lot of different technology and just because we are doing it, it doesn't necessarily mean we will use the technology or commercialise it," Nicholson said.

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