EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) is the technology known as “2.5G” used by PLDT WeRoam for broadband mobile access. From the Alcatel press room:
Paris, September 7, 2005 – Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) today announced that it has been awarded a contract by Sun Cellular, the mobile brand of Digital Mobile Philippines Inc. (DMPI) in the Philippines, to expand the operator’s GSM/GPRS mobile network capacity and strengthen its position as a national telecommunications service provider in the Philippines. This contract, valued at approximately 18 million Euros, will cover the expansion of Sun Cellular’s network in the metro Manila area and the islands of Luzon and Cebu.
Upon completion of the project in October 2005, Sun Cellular will be able to accommodate as many as 3 million subscribers, a substantial increase over the number of customers it supports today. Sun Cellular will also be in a position to implement solutions that can satisfy the full range of its subscribers’ requirements for innovative mobile data services.
Alcatel will supply, install and commission its Evoliumâ„¢ GSM/GPRS and EDGE-ready solution, which includes mobile switching and IN solutions. As the Evoliumâ„¢ solution is based upon open standards and the software is able to be upgraded, network capacity can be increased both rapidly and cost efficiently to meet Sun Cellular’s future growth requirements. In the future, Sun Cellular will have the potential to migrate to a mobile Next Generation Network (mobile NGN) that can support advanced mobile services whilst reducing operation expenses.
There has been speculation – or wishing – that Sun Cellular could bring 3G and VoIP “to the masses” since their equipment out in the field are newer than Globe and Smart. Perhaps this purchase reflects their strategy for data services and VAS – something that we haven’t heard from them due to their focus on low-cost services like 24/7 and its variations.