Nortel and LG Electronics complete CDMA and LTE handover

Nortel and LG Electronics have demonstrated the world’s first 3GPP standards compliant active handover of a data transmission between a LTE network and a CDMA network.

The demonstration showed that online activities like video downloads, web surfing, and VoIP calls can be maintained when a mobile data user moves between LTE and CDMA coverage zones. Nortel’s CDMA business and LTE Access assets are the subject of an asset sale agreement with Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (“Ericsson”) set to close in the fall of 2009.

LG Electronics (LG), a global leader and technology innovator in mobile communications, has contributed to this demonstration by developing its CDMA/LTE device, the M13. LG has focused on developing CDMA/LTE devices and equipment since 2006 to drive the next generation of mobile technology, and achieved prominence by unveiling the world’s first modem chipset for 4G LTE devices in December 2008.

Operators around the world are preparing to launch LTE with major deployments expected as early as 2010. Initial LTE networks will co-exist with today’s CDMA networks until, over time, they expand to provide wide scale 4G mobile broadband coverage. Inter-technology handover allows mobile users to move between a LTE and a CDMA network without losing their data connectivity. This means that operators can run these networks concurrently without impacting services. This will help to ensure that users have full network coverage while taking advantage of LTE speeds, wherever initially available.

“Nortel innovation will help CDMA operators enjoy a smooth migration to LTE,” said Larry Murat, vice president of LTE R&D, Nortel. “Although CDMA networks will remain the primary networks for many years to come, LTE will become a key piece of the networking puzzle as early as next year. With interoperability between LTE and CDMA networks on a single device, Nortel and LG are enabling operators to provide their subscribers with the speed of LTE wherever it is available backed up by the far reaching reliability of CDMA. This is important to operators who want to provide robust and consistent service throughout their evolutions to 4G.”

Added said In-Kyung Kim, vice president of 4G Development, LG Electronics: “The 2010 LTE commercial launch for CDMA operators represents a milestone. LG’s new M13 terminal technology is the key to enabling CDMA network operators an incremental LTE network deployment over a national CDMA network.”

The test by Nortel and LG Electronics successfully demonstrates standards-compliant CDMA-LTE interworking. This enables idle mode handover between CDMA and LTE, and active mode handover from LTE to CDMA leveraging device assisted, network controlled functionality.

The demonstration was conducted over 700MHz spectrum using Nortel CDMA Evolved High-Rate Packet Data (eHRPD) 1xEV-DO and Nortel Long Term Evolution (LTE) solution with LG Electronics’ dual-mode CDMA-LTE M13 terminal. The M13 terminal is a test device created with commercial grade components that will form the basis for a consumer device which is expected to be available in 2010.

The handover between LTE to CDMA networks was completed in a Live-Air Drive Test at Nortel’s Research and Development centre in Ottawa, Canada.

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