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Alcatel-Lucent deploys UMTS 900; world's handset makers cry uncle

Chris Ziegler

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We're still bellyaching over T-Mobile's unfortunate (but necessary) addition of 1700MHz to the world's WCDMA spectrum, but it seems four bands of UMTS -- 850, 1700, 1900, and 2100MHz -- wasn't enough to satisfy everyone's needs. Or the Isle of Man's, at least. The British territory is the first landmass in the world to get a trial UMTS / WCDMA deployment on the 900MHz band, thanks to Alcatel-Lucent and O2's Manx Telecom. Though there's already a 2100MHz 3G network alive and well in those parts, the companies are touting 900's advantages -- chiefly its increased building penetration and enhanced range, letting carriers get 3G to more places with fewer cells. Though the trial has run for a full six months, there appear to be no plans to make it live and accessible to customers at the moment; that's probably just as well, seeing how there's no retail equipment to take advantage.

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