T-Mobile launches Europe's first Flash OFDM trial

T-Mobile International, one of Europe's largest mobile operators and providers of new 3G high-speed wireless internet services,...

T-Mobile International, one of Europe's largest mobile operators and providers of new 3G high-speed wireless internet services, is testing a technology designed to compete with its next-generation offering.

The operator has started Europe's first trial of rival Flash Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (Flash OFDM) technology in The Hague, Netherlands, said the technology's inventor, Flarion Technologies.  

Flarion, a spin-off of Lucent Technologies, has been testing the wireless IP (Internet Protocol) technology in the US since 2003, it said.

The operator decided to test Flash OFDM because it is "constantly investigating and screening new mobile technologies", said Hans-Eckhard Krüger, executive vice-president of systems engineering at T-Mobile International.

Krüger provided no details as to whether the company had any plans to roll out the new technology on a large scale.

With Flash OFDM technology, operators can provide download speeds of between 1mbps and 1.5mbps and upload speeds of between 300kbps and 500kbps, according to Flarion.

By comparison, although 3G technology is capable of a theoretical speed up to 2mbps in a stationary position under ideal conditions, most operators are targeting download speeds of around 384kbps and upload speeds of 128kbps.

Flarion's technology can operate in the same radio spectrum and use the same antennas as Europe's 3G systems, enabling operators to squeeze more profit out of their huge investments in the high-speed wireless service, according to the company.

However, spectrum licences currently prohibit the use of 3G radio waves by alternative technologies.

John Blau writes for IDG News Service

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