Today Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung unveiled at Mobile World Congress an optimized device-plus-infrastructure solution that will enable end-users to have seamless access to their voice and data services when switching between GSM/EDGE and WiMAX networks. On the exhibition show floor the two are showcasing live demonstrations of an optimized end-to-end solution for dual-mode, which tightly integrates the dual-mode PDA and network equipment from Alcatel-Lucent.

This first-of-its-kind solution will enable operators to blend GSM/EDGE and WiMAX networks and thus offer their mobile subscribers wireless data and voice service that span an entire nation.

Operators will be able to gradually roll out wireless broadband services using the most advanced WiMAX standard, Rev-e (802.16e-2005), because when their subscribers move out of WiMAX range the existing GSM/EDGE network will immediately pick up the connection without disruption in the subscriber’s session or call. This includes international roaming as well as movement from WiMAX-rich urban/suburban settings into rural areas – with the standardized end-to-end solution supporting seamless connections for both voice and data.

As the most widely deployed mobile network technology worldwide with 2.8 billion subscribers, GSM/EDGE is a solid base for deploying next-generation wireless networks. Moreover, because significant numbers of operators in high-growth markets have not yet begun the transition to 3G, this type of solution opens to door, where appropriate, to a potential direct move from GSM/EDGE to 4G, via the WiMAX path.

“The arrival of dual mode in the market place is highly anticipated and represents a significant step for the development of the WiMAX market,” Michael Thelander, CEO Signals Research Group. “ It has the potential to change the market trajectory, and the combination of Samsung’s consumer device technology and brand with Alcatel-Lucent’s WiMAX networks expertise will add confidence to the first steps in this direction.”

Samsung was already a partner in Alcatel-Lucent’s Open CPE Program, established to stimulate the ecosystem to ensure that WiMAX operators and their subscribers have access to the widest possible variety of terminal devices at affordable prices.

‘Thanks to Samsung's new WiMAX & GSM/EDGE dual-mode device, which works seamlessly with Alcatel-Lucent infrastructure, wireless operators will be able to offer truly ubiquitous mobile data experience even before WiMAX is fully deployed nationwide. Instead of having to invest upfront in a massive rollout, wireless operators will be able to offer superior service in the dense urban environments covered by initial WiMAX deployments, while relying on GSM/EDGE nationwide availability from day one and gradually extend WiMAX coverage nationwide,” said Karim El Naggar, Alcatel-Lucent’s WiMAX Vice President. “The hybrid solution enables them to smoothly transition to next-generation mobile broadband and pursue new business opportunities cost-effectively, leveraging their existing offer.”

Dr. W.P. Hong, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics, says: “We welcome Alcatel-Lucent in joining us and helping Samsung expand its Mobile WiMAX expertise. As _a world leader in Mobile WiMAX - the fastest and most efficient wireless broadband technology - Samsung is committed to developing Mobile WiMAX technologies and services to benefit Internet users around the world. Along with Alcatel Lucent and our other partners we will continue to push the boundaries of what Mobile WiMAX can deliver.”

Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung are collaborating on the solution’s specifications, testing and deployment to optimize network and device architectures based on a unified protocol. This will ensure security and mobility-management control for operator customers. As part of the effort, they will contribute to standardization, working with organizations such as the WiMAX Forum and 3GPP.

Source: Alcatel-Lucent