Luxembourg takes first steps towards 3G

23 Jan 2003

P&T Luxembourg has made its first UMTS call in conjunction with equipment vendor Siemens; the vendor will now begin delivery and installation of the telco’s complete 3G network. The call, which took place yesterday using the Siemens U10 handset, also included the transmission of music clips, TV images and short video files. It came just six weeks after the Siemens Information and Communication Group signed a UMTS master agreement with P&T Luxembourg; the German manufacturer will be the sole supplier of P&T Luxembourg’s 3G equipment. Luxembourg awarded UMTS licences in May 2002, considerably later than its western European neighbours, granting concessions to P&T, France Télécom’s Orange and Tele2-backed Tango. P&T offers GSM-based wireless services through two subsidiaries – Mobilux and Communications Mobile Digitale, both of which operate under the LuxGSM brand name – and has introduced advanced data transmission technologies such as GPRS and MMS. The company had a monopoly in Luxembourg’s saturated cellular market until 1998 when Tango, now the country’s leading operator, was launched; LuxGSM currently boasts around 300,000 subscribers, while mobile penetration in Luxembourg has broken the 100% barrier.

Despite its upbeat reports from Luxembourg, Siemens revealed today that profit for the three months to 31 December fell to EUR521 million from EUR538 million in the same period a year ago, although it added that the figure for 2001 had been boosted by the sale of a stake in Infineon Technologies. Sales for the fiscal first quarter were down 10% year-on-year to EUR18.85 billion, while orders fell by 21% to EUR20.15 billion. Despite its performance, Siemens stands by its earlier prediction that its networks unit will break even in the fourth quarter and expects that worldwide mobile phone sales will total over EUR420 million this year.

CIT's Yearbook of European Telecommunications 2003