By Tawanda Chihota
In October last year Nokia and Ericsson announced their support of the development of GSM equipment in the 450MHz frequency band.
Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies believes scope for the uptake of GSM450 technology is limited and as such has no intention in investing in it, despite moves by rival vendors to support GSM networks in the spectrum band.
“GSM450 technology aims to offer GSM technology in the NMT frequency band (450MHz) as a digitalisation of analogue NMT technology,” explains Tian Feng, Huawei’s president of the Middle East and North Africa region. “In this regard, Huawei believes that CDMA450, rather than GSM450, is the best technology for operators to digitalise this band, where CDMA450 is considered as a one step jump from analogue (NMT) to 3G (cdma2000 1x/EV-DO), which enables the operator to provide not only voice but also broadband applications in this band.”
In October last year Nokia and Ericsson announced their support of the development of GSM equipment in the 450MHz frequency band, saying they viewed GSM450 as a viable solution in providing affordable handsets and mobile voice-centred services to new growth areas with a low teledensity.
The vendors had originally planned to deploy GSM services in the 450MHz band as an upgrade path for existing analogue NMT-450 operators - but withdrew citing low demand.
The 450MHz spectrum band is already licensed in a number of Central and Eastern European countries, and the region continues to be a hotbed for the deployment of digital 450MHz technologies and a number of operators have launched commercial CDMA450 networks.
“25 operators in 19 countries have already deployed CDMA450 and this means that CDMA450 has already taken the lead and has gained momentum in deployment in this band, which allows better economies of scale for the technology and makes it more attractive for operators,” says Feng. “Accordingly, Huawei considers that GSM450 will not be value-adding to operators, and will continue to focus its efforts on CDMA450 instead.”