Building on last year’s successful 3G test network rollout, Austrian mobile operator One now hopes to launch a commercial 3G service before the year is out.
One was the first Austrian provider to successfully make UMTS voice calls to and from a GSM network and a fixed line network. The operator will now continue network rollout in the provincial capitals and gradually extend the test area.
In Q2 2002 One plans to extend the functionality of the 3G network and will merge the test network with the GSM network. This will gradually develop into the operational UMTS network. If sufficient end devices are available – admittedly a big if – One will launch 3G services in the second half of 2002.
As part of the next generation of mobile services, One will also launch a multimedia messaging service, enabling users to send color picture messages such as photos, combined with text and sound. Judging by the massive popularity of SMS messaging this service could well emerge at the forefront of 3G technology.