SINGAPORE, 5 November 2004 – The wires and TV cables that currently connect homes and offices in Singapore to the Internet and restrict broadband users to fixed locations could vanish into thin air if trials conducted by M1 using an alternative access technology prove viable.
M1 has started technical trials of wireless broadband that allows access speeds of more than 1Mbps – similar to that offered by traditional DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) broadband connections and cable TV networks.
In the same way that mobile phones have liberated voice telephony, wireless broadband promises convenient and efficient Internet access at high speeds wherever and whenever it is required.
M1 plans to test three variants of wireless broadband technology provided by the following vendors:
• SOMA Networks uses FDD (paired spectrum) and supports a variety of licensed spectrums including 1.9 GHz, 2.3 GHz, and 2.6 GHz. The technology is being deployed nationwide in Malaysia and has been used in Japan, North America and Western Europe.
• The iBurst broadband wireless system (from Kyocera Corporation, with core technology from ArrayComm) that operates on the 1.9 GHz TDD band. The iBurst system is operating now in Australia and South Africa and has a number of nationwide deployments in the works worldwide.
• IPWireless, which is based on UMTS TDD, the 3GPP standard optimised for high-speed data, also operates on the 1.9 GHz TDD band and is available in 40 networks across five continents, including in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.
The first trial using the Soma system and involving three other partners, Pacific Internet, Siemens and Cadmus Technologies, is in progress. The iBurst and IP Wireless trials are scheduled to start before end of this year. Each trial will last between one and two months.
Neil Montefiore, Chief Executive Officer of M1 said: “Wireless broadband will put freedom and control back in the lives of our Netizens, allowing them to decide when and where they wish to go online. The technical trials that M1 is conducting will give us an opportunity to assess the state of the art and to evaluate specifically the capacity, coverage and performance of the technology.”
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