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Telecom New Zealand makes the news around the world: adopting 3GSM instead of CDMA2000
Posted on 7-Oct-2003 18:16. | Tags Filed under: News.

Telecom New Zealand makes the news around the world: adopting 3GSM instead of CDMA2000
Previous news that Vodafone will start building its 3G networkin New Zealand made Telecom New Zealand move to the offensive and declare that they already had a 3G network. We know the Telecom New Zealand CDMA network would not pass the bandwidth test of a true 3G network, but this is past now. The latest news is Telecom New Zealand looking to deploy a real 3G network, based on 3GSM (W-CDMA) not CDMA2000 (the natural evolution of their existing CDMA network).

Around the world the news are spreading fast. 3G specialist sites are publishing the news. 3GNewswroom says "The firm uses CDMA technology in its 2G network but is considering whether to adopt a WCDMA implemented 3G network. The natural migration path for CDMA network operators would be adopting CDMA2000 as its 3G technology while GSM operators would instinctively choose WCDMA. A path from CDMA to CDMA2000 is a relatively simple upgrade while going from CDMA to WCDMA would require a more expensive network to be built. Telecom said it has commissioned equipment makers Ericsson and Alcatel to undertake a planning exercise to look at different migration options. Adopting WCDMA technology would be an admission that Telecom backed the wrong technology when it settled on the CDMA standard several years ago. Lucent, who is responsible for managing Telecom's network, is believed to be upset with Telecom's plans. The company insist that it would be able to take Telecom to 3G more quickly and cheaply."

The local newspaper cited in the article is the New Zealand Herald, saying "Telecom has signalled for the first time that it may make a radical technology switch for its planned third-generation (3G) mobile services... Telecom's planning exercise is understood to consider a number of scenarios - from building W-CDMA networks in main centres and negotiating with Vodafone for roaming around the rest of the country, to overlaying its own network with GSM, the standard Telecom passed over when it built its 027 network."

While we know that Telecom New Zealand share the Australian operations of 3 (Hutchison) and it would capitalise on this knowledge, we also have the understanding that there was a huge investment in creating their current CDMA network, with full country coverage.

W-CDMA was renamed to 3GSM by the GSM Association, to distance it even more from CDMA and CDMA2000.

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