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SFR pilots UMTS900 with Nokia

Nokia and French operator SFR said Friday they have carried out a technical pilot on UMTS 3G voice calling in the 900MHz band (UMTS900).

Because of its lower frequency, UMTS900 is anticipated to provide between two and four times more coverage than the most commonly used 2GHz band as well as increased indoor coverage.

The trial was carried out on SFR’s network using kit from Nokia and a special solution for sharing the existing GSM site infrastructure. Nokia supplied a prototype WCDMA900 mobile device.

“We are impressed by the voice quality of the call, and the HSDPA user data transfer speed reached our expectations. The WCDMA 900MHz variant brings us an efficient solution, which could allow us to extend our 3G services to rural areas cost-effectively,” said Paul Corbel, chief technical officer at SFR.

On Thursday, telecoms.com’s parent Informa Telecoms & Media released a report revealing that Finland, France and Portugal are expected to lead the way in rolling out UMTS900.

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