COM DEV International Ltd. today confirmed that its M/ERGY™ wireless infrastructure has been deployed by SK Telecom in the 3G high speed wireless data field service demonstration which it has commenced in Seoul Korea. SK Telecom announced in a press release dated 16 November, that, having completed performance tests of equipment delivered by Contela (COM DEV’s M/ERGY), Samsung and LG, it had become the first company in the world to offer commercial CDMA2000, 1xEVDO service by beginning operation of a demonstration network in Seoul on 17 November. COM DEV and Contela announced the sale of M/ERGY equipment to SK Telecom at the beginning of November.
According to SK Telecom, beginning next month, its 14 million subscribers will be first in the world to have access to this kind of high speed, wireless data service. Operating at speeds of up to 2.4 Mbits/second, it is as fast as wired ADSL. Subscribers will access the service using notebook computers and PDAs via small external modems or PCMCIA card terminals to be produced by major wireless terminal manufacturers such as Samsung, SK Teletech and GTran. SK Telecom plans to expand this new 1xEV-DO commercial service to other parts of Seoul and its suburbs beginning in March 2002 and to 26 other Korean cities beginning in April.
Said Mr. El Goong Kim, Head of the Network Business Division at SK Telecom, “We will be providing this advanced wireless data service six to twelve months ahead of any other service provider anywhere in the world. We are expecting to become the world leader in 3G telecommunications with this service.” The high speed 1xEV-DO technology will allow users to watch streaming video or to download MP3 moving-image files in less than 10 seconds to hand held portable devices – this is more than 20 times the speed available using 2.5G technologies such as GPRS and 1xRTT and more than 10 times the speed currently available on NTT DoCoMo’s W-CDMA i-mode service.
“With the successful start-up of our M/ERGY equipment in Korea, we have demonstrated that we have a commercially ready system that we are able to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world”, said John Keating, COM DEV’s Chief Operating Officer. Josh Lober, COM DEV’s Vice President of Digital and Software Systems, who has headed-up the M/ERGY development program from COM DEV’s facility in San Luis Obispo, California, said “For the first time in the world, a carrier is offering a 3G wireless mobile data service that can deliver 2.4 Mbits/second to a laptop or hand held computer device. It is enormously exciting for COM DEV to be such a significant part of this watershed event.”
In a press release dated November 1, 2001 COM DEV and Contela announced that they had been selected by SK Telecom to provide M/ERGY equipment for the user trial of an all-data, CDMA2000, 1xEV-DO network, as a prelude to SK Telecom’s plan to be the first service provider in the world to commercially exploit this new technology and to build-out a nation wide network beginning early in 2002. The M/ERGY infrastructure supplied by COM DEV for this demonstration service consisted of a central office system and a network of base stations located in the Kwanak and Socho districts of Seoul.
What is CDMA2000, 1xEV-DO
CDMA2000, 1xEV-DO (EVolution Data-Optimized) is a new internationally approved, all-data, wireless communications 3G standard based on the HDR (High Data Rate) technology developed by Qualcomm and licensed to equipment suppliers around the world including COM DEV. COM DEV selected this standard for use in M/ERGY because it is design-optimized for data services and offers substantial performance and cost advantages over all other standardized 2.5G (second and a half generation) and 3G (third generation) wireless technologies. 1xEV-DO is the first globally accepted wireless standard which allows high speed internet access in Wide Area Networks (WAN’s) at data rates comparable to that available in ADSL and Cable modem high speed internet services.