Trendily lower-cased mobilkom austria plans the rollout of an Austria-wide 3G full-coverage network by mid 2005, based on a smart combination of EDGE and UMTS technology, which it is calling known as UMTS PLUS, although wags might suggest it should be UMTS MINUS.
Boris Nemsic, Telekom Austria COO Wireless and mobilkom austria CEO explained why the operator was using EDGE in infill areas where it has no UMTS coverage. "The economic rationale behind the deployment of EDGE in Austria as a complementary technology, in addition to UMTS, is that it prevents the construction of further transmission stations in the rural area."
At the end of 2004, UMTS coverage amounted to 60% of the population. The integration of EDGE in the UMTS network by summer 2005 will extend enhanced coverage to 95%.
The first UMTS PLUS handset, combining EDGE and UMTS, is already available, the operator said.