T-Mobile to Announce UMTS, Sources Say

 
 
By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2006-10-03
 
 
 
T-Mobile sources have told eWEEK that the company is scheduling a press conference for Oct. 6 in New York for the purposes of making a major announcement in the wake of the companys win in the recent frequency auction.

The announcement will take place jointly with officials from Deutsche Telekom and from its US Subsidiary, T-Mobile USA, taking part.

According to parties familiar with the companys plans, T-Mobile will announce its move into 3G communications in the United States using UMTS (universal mobile telephone service) at that time.

"T-Mobile will announce UMTS on 1700 MHz and 2100 MHz," said analyst Roger Entner, vice president of the London-based research and consulting company Ovum.

Entner said that the U.S. frequencies are different from those in Europe and elsewhere, and for that reason, T-Mobiles UMTS solution will work only in the United States until new devices with multiple frequency support are developed, despite the fact that UMTS is a global standard.

Gartners Phil Redman said he agrees that a UMTS announcement by T-Mobile is imminent.

However, he said hes less certain that there will be a full announcement on Oct. 6.

But, he said, "Theres a good likelihood that they will say something."

Redman said that it will take about 18 months for T-Mobile to implement UMTS nationally. He also said that some devices will start to appear much sooner.

To read more about 3G networks, click here.

T-Mobile has been at a competitive disadvantage in the United States since the other three national wireless companies have announced high-speed data support.

Until now, the best T-Mobile could offer is GPRS (general packet radio service), which compares in speed to a dial-up modem.

The company needed additional spectrum in the United States in order to implement high-speed data delivery.

T-Mobile was not willing to comment for this article due to limitations imposed by the FCC.

At the time this article was published, the existence of the Oct. 6 news conference was not officially confirmed by the company.

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