M1 – BT

M1 to test ‘4G’ in Feb

MOBILEONE (M1) is testing a so-called fourth-generation – or 4G – cellular technology known as Long Term Evolution (LTE), which promises mobile broadband speeds zippy enough to dispatch bandwidth-sapping high definition (HD) TV content to mobile device users.

The telco said yesterday that it will be conducting a two-month trial from next month, and the public can get to witness this technology’s power at M1’s flagship store in Paragon, where there will be showcases of HD TV streaming and high-speed Web surfing over LTE.

M1 is currently modernising its 2G network to prepare it for a smooth transition to LTE. In the process, the telco expects to slash its telecommunications networks carbon footprint by up to 35 per cent by early 2011. This will be possible due to the use of energy-efficient equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks, which will see action in the upcoming LTE trial.

‘Our network modernisation contract with Nokia Siemens Networks represented our first steps in our evolution to LTE,’ said M1 chief technical officer Patrick Scodeller. ‘The trial will help pave the way for faster and better quality mobile broadband services in the future.’

Demand for mobile broadband services has been soaring, sparked by bullish sales of Internet-savvy smartphones such as the iPhone and Android phones. This has fanned interest in next-generation cellular technologies like the LTE, which is expected to succeed the popular High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology.

The LTE market is expected to be huge. According to Juniper Research, LTE services will exceed US$70 billion globally by 2014.

Last November, SingTel said it will be conducting LTE trials across Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines in the first half of this year. It will be partnering Australian subsidiary Optus, Indonesia’s Telkomsel and the Philippines’ Globe Telecom for the trials.

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