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Lucent wireless add-on ready to roll

The high-speed wireless data add-on for 3G networks successfully supports video, voice and data in Shanghai test, Lucent says.

Lucent Technologies said Tuesday that software designed to create cable-quality high-speed Internet connections to cell phones recently passed muster during tests in Shanghai.

Mary Chan, a Lucent vice president, said in a statement that the development "paves the way for the deployment in China," where it will compete with a large number of other cell phone network equipment makers.

The Lucent software, known as High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), is an add-on for cell phone operators already outfitted with "3G," or third-generation, networks but still without the bandwidth needed to sell high quality voice and video, and high-speed Internet services.

While currently available handsets support downloads of only 1.8mbps, Lucent says, its HSDPA software reaches speeds of 7.6mbps, which rivals high-speed Net services from cable companies.

China's China Netcom, which hosted the recently concluded Lucent tests, is a likely candidate to buy the software, although Lucent didn't disclose details about potential or current customers. European operators Orange and O2 have also expressed interest in HSDPA gear.

Cell phone handset makers, equipment providers and investors are focused on China because of that market's enormous economic potential. China already has more cell phone subscribers than any other country, yet the cell phone infrastructure there covers a relatively small percentage of the population.