3 Ireland, which is gearing up for launch into the Irish market in the very near future, has revealed that NEC and Siemens have secured a major chunk of its network build contract.
Awarded sole supplier status for Hutchison 3G Ireland’s W-CDMA/UMTS radio access network (UTRAN), the NEC/Siemens partnership will deliver 480 Node-B radio base stations and two radio network controllers. The UTRAN will be connected to Hutchison 3G’s core network already deployed in the UK and will cover the five largest cities: Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
NEC/Siemens already supplies 3G network technology to Hutchison 3G (3 Ireland’s parent company) in Austria, Hong Kong, Italy and the UK.
The network will run at data speeds of up to 384Kbps. This will provide the platform for a range of services including advanced audio, video and interactive gaming services.
NEC will also deliver more than 400 units of its point-to-point wireless access system, Pasolink, a technology used to connect radio base stations to facilitate a faster rollout of 3G infrastructure. Worldwide sales of Pasolink exceeded 200,000 units in 2004.
Commenting on the contract win, Katsuhiro Nakagawa, associate senior vice-president of NEC Mobile Solutions Operations Unit said:
“Since Europe’s first commercial service launch, by Hutchison 3G UK in March 2003, we have delivered a good many 3G networks to Hutchison. I believe that our achievement has been evaluated and led NEC to become the prime contractor for Hutchison 3G Ireland. Our ongoing close co-operation enables us to continue to maximise Hutchison’s competitive position in the marketplace and really differentiate the 3 brand globally as it rolls out more and more innovative 3G services worldwide.”
Christoph Caselitz, president of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications, described the contract as “another significant milestone” for the Siemens/NEC partnership.
By Brian Skelly
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