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Mobile Broadband/3G

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Mobile Broadband/3G

Does anyone know what is involved for the mobile networks to upgrade from GPRS to 3G? I am interested in mobile broadband with whatever network gets 3G coverage to my area first (currently looking like it will be Vodafone). I originally asumed that this would just involve installing or replacing equiptment on existing masts, but based on how long the 3G rollout is taking I am now thinking there is obviously a lot more to it than this?
2 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: Mobile Broadband/3G

It's primarily a hardware upgrade at the mast, as you surmised.
However, the biggest stumbling block right now is the backhaul from the mast to the network.
Currently, GPRS signals are often relayed via microwave (over one or many intermediary masts) to a more central 'Point Of Presence' mast, where a large wired backhaul can carry the information into the providers network.  Unfortunately, with the advent of 3G, most of the microwave links are insufficient for more than a few simultanous 3G connections.  This means that the provider either has to:
a)  Expand the microwave link throughout the entire chain back to the POP, and increase the POP backhaul substantially
or
b)  Add more POPs to the entire cellular network.
Effectively, both are being done depending on cost factors (although there are likely lead-time implications getting backhaul installed at some more remote regions - it does usually involve running more physical cable to the mast)
B.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Mobile Broadband/3G

What about?
c) Pay BT to run fibre
d) Bridgewave, www.bridgewave.com I installed a couple of these on hospitals in Belfast through my job. Very expensive to buy depending on model but speeds of up to 1Gb operating at over 60Ghz so obviously distance is a factor and LOS is critical.