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Nokia Siemens Networks Improves Radio Spectrum Refarming for GSM to 3G Networks

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Nokia Siemens Networks says that it has introduced two innovations that allow operators to deliver mobile broadband more effectively with their existing radio spectrum.

Described by the company as Energy Efficient Coverage (EEC) -- which is similar in operation to Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) in LTE networks --  the first innovation enables existing GSM spectrum to support up to double the amount of traffic. Alternatively, it can achieve the same GSM performance using less spectrum, thus freeing up more frequencies for WCDMA re-farming. In addition it can significantly improve network coverage.

The second innovation is Configurable Carrier Bandwidth for WCDMA. This allows WCDMA carrier bandwidth to be set in software configurable steps of 200 kHz from the very narrow 3.8 MHz up to 4.2 MHz, depending on an operator's spectrum. It gives operators full flexibility to allocate more GSM spectrum to WCDMA as it becomes available. The feature also allows co-location of GSM and WCDMA on the same frequency band for operators with extremely limited spectrum.

For example, an operator can start re-farming by rolling out WCDMA within just 3.8 MHz and in the future, when more GSM traffic is offloaded to WCDMA and spectrum can be freed up, the operator can increase the WCDMA bandwidth to 4.0 or 4.2 MHz, depending on the available spectrum and traffic requirement.

The two new software features will be available commercially in the second half of 2012.

"Mobile spectrum is scarce, and operators want to maximize the GSM spectrum they can re-farm to WCDMA and LTE," said Dhruv Khanna, head of sales development for Mobile Broadband, North America, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Our software suite addresses this challenge. Operators can re-farm using much narrower spectrum than before, deliver GSM and WCDMA with 30% less spectrum, and also lower total cost of ownership by 20%. Moreover, they can deliver a vastly improved user experience, and potentially attract more customers to increase revenues."

Operators can deploy the features with Nokia Siemens Networks' Single RAN platform via a software upgrade.

To help operators increase network capacity and improve network performance, Nokia Siemens Networks offers planning and implementation services for WCDMA and LTE re-farming.

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