Deutsche Telekom keeps its '4G' options open

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Deutsche Telekom hasn't yet decided on a technology for its next generation
mobile network, even though at Cebit it is demonstrating the LTE (Long Term
Evolution) technology for speeding up 3G (third-generation) cellular networks.

Other "fourth-generation" options on the table include Mobile Wimax
and UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband). However, the mobile carrier wants to keep
its options open for now, said Philipp Humm, chairman of the carrier's mobile
subsidiary T-Mobile Deutschland.

"We will start trials in the middle of the year, and make a decision towards
the end of the year," said Humm.

At Cebit, though, it's all about LTE. Together with Ericsson, T-Mobile is demonstrating
mobile broadband speeds at 100M bps download and 50M bps upload. Applications
demonstrated will include high-definition television.

"LTE would be a natural step for us, but we don't want to choose before
we know it can perform, both in terms of cost and performance," said Joachim
Horn, Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile International.

When it comes to choosing between the options on the table, "The radio
won't be the deciding factor, because they are all based on OFDM," he said,
referring to orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, one of several techniques
for sharing limited radio spectrum between multiple simultaneous communications.

Instead, said Horn, other factors like intellectual property, cost and the
included ecosystem will make or break a technology.

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