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RealTime IT News

GSM-EDGE Claims Another Breakthrough

A day after Cingular Wireless announced it was migrating to third-generation (3G), GSM-based Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) technology, AT&T Wireless announced an EDGE breakthrough of its own.

AT&T Wireless claimed it has completed the first live EDGE data call in a live GSM network environment. The call was made between a prototype EDGE phone and a laptop computer using Nokia wireless infrastructure products.

The back-to-back announcements represent a significant and recent shift in the U.S. wireless landscape as some operators are moving away from CDMA and TDMA technologies. Those technologies have dominated in the U.S., but Cingular and AT&T Wireless now have moved more firmly to the GSM camp, a technology that has long been dominant in Europe and Asia.

The move smoothes the way for relationships between those operators and others around the world as wireless data technology becomes more widely deployed. AT&T already is closely aligned with Japan's NTT DoCoMo, which owns 16 percent of the U.S. company. AT&T Wireless' move toward GSM technology was announced at the same time as DoCoMo acquired its stake in the company.

AT&T Wireless said that its EDGE call re-enforces its commitment to providing wireless multimedia services such as streaming video.

"EDGE is an integral part of our long-term strategy and now other carriers are reinforcing it as the right choice for carriers that want to deliver 3G services both in the U.S. and globally," said Rod Nelson, chief technology officer for AT&T Wireless Services.