Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/12/17/3g_is_coming_ready/

3G is coming (ready or not)

We don't need no killer app

By Drew Cullen

Posted in Mobile, 17th December 2002 15:02 GMT

3G is coming, ready or not, says the wireless research team at Instat/MDR.

Most of us aren't ready - the EU reckons that the market in Europe for 3G services will start booming only in 2008. But InStat notes:

"While UMTS (WCDMA) has borne the brunt of the recent gloom and doom scenarios, it is actually being deployed, and generating manufacturing revenue, at a reasonable rate. It will continue to be deployed at an increasing rate as handsets become available and coverage deadlines advance."

But what about the killer app? Maybe there doesn't need to be one, certainly so far as densely populated Europe is concerned. Here, the driving factor will "quite probably will be the need for more voice capacity to supplement the strained GSM
urban networks. While UMTS is often portrayed as
'expensive,' the reality of the situation is that the
hardware cost-per-voice channel is less than one-half the cost of GSM."

OK, that's Europe. There is also the matter of the Qualcomm 2G networks, mostly to be found in America and Asia. Here, the transformation of many cdmaOne networks to CDMA2000 1x is proceeding rapidly, In-
Stat says. Noting the relative simplicity of the swapover from cdmaOne to CDMA 1x networks (because very few new elements are required), Ray Jodoin, an Instat/MDR director, is required, for the purposes of a press release to spout this unfortunate piece of gobbledegeek.

"The primary hardware addition is the PDSN, which is the CDMA 2000 equivalent to the UMTS GGSN. Existing BTSs, BSCs, and MSCs require modification rather than replacement."

Is this a man speaking, or a phone manual?

You can get more of this stuff in the full report, priced a mere $3,495.

Reader's Letter

Some help has arrived...

"The primary hardware addition is the PDSN, which is the CDMA 2000 equivalent to the UMTS GGSN. Existing BTSs, BSCs, and MSCs require modification rather than replacement."

After 3 years intensive work in GPRS/3G products and people asking me "so what does it do/how does it work?" I can officially decrypt the gobbledegook sentence above...

(Of course I laughed at this sentence because I realised he actually meant UMTS GSN, not UMTS GGSN...)

"The main addition is a PSDN (Data Switch) to complement the Voice switch. This is the CDMA 2000 equivalent a UMTS GSN Data Switch. Unlike GSM the rest of the existing 2G Infrastructure requires only modification to work as 3G."

Simple eh?

Of course it doesn't help when they change the name of the GSN from the GPRS System Node to General System Node (for 3G) and then managers don't know their GSN from their GGSN or even an SGSN! (oh how we laugh...)

Cheers,

Dan Timms (in telecoms therapy)

Thanks, Dan. ®