Ericsson gives mobile networks an engine

Ericsson has launched a new multi-network solution for next generation mobile systems, called ENGINE, which will allow network operators to supply 2.5 and 3G systems simultaneously.

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By  Kieran Potts Published  November 13, 2001

In Dubai yesterday, Ericsson launched a new multi-network solution for next generation mobile systems, called ENGINE. The technology will allow fixed and wireless phone operators to turn their existing networks into efficient multi-service networks for voice, data, video and Internet — a service known as circuit-packet migration — while allowing them to build new networks based on packet technology simultaneously.

ENGINE is therefore a solution to the problems of migration to GPRS and, ultimately, 3G wireless communication systems. It will allow network operators to provide both traditional circuit-switched and the latest packet-switched communication systems simultaneously, without any loss in transmission.

“With the rapid growth of Internet-based services and the deployment of a variety of new high-speed access technologies, many fixed and mobile network operators around the world are gearing up their networks for the Internet and mobile Internet revolution,” said Kjell Engelbrektsson, account manager for the Gulf countries.

Ericsson’s ENGINE network is based on a mixture of ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and IP (Internet Protocol) technologies. These transmit data in a series of ‘cells’ or ‘packets’, rather than as a continuous stream (as in circuit0-switched cells). This makes more efficient use of network capacity as individual circuits need not be dedicated to each call — network capacity is used only when there are data bits to send — and individual packets/cells can be routed through any available network facility.

Thus, using technologies like ENGINE, mobile network providers hope to be able to migrate their existing customers from existing network platforms onto 3G, thereby securing current revenue streams while opening up a range of new service opportunities for the future.

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