Executives in warning over global mobile bid

Executives in warning over global mobile bid
Roy Rubenstein Senior mobile phone executives have warned about the problems ahead in creating a global standard out of the third generation digital mobile phone proposal. “To have a single global standard is going to be very difficult,” believes Heikki Ahava, Nokia mobile phones’ v-p of new system technologies. This is also the view of Thomas Beijer, chairman of the UMTS Forum which is working on issues such as spectrum allocation and its licensing. However, he stresses that UMTS has strong support outside Europe, and even with US mobile phone operators where it is competing with the CDMAOne proposal. Since ETSI’s decision that the UMTS radio interface would be based on W-CDMA and time division/CDMA schemes, work has concentrated on harmonised the two to achieve simpler – and cheaper – UMTS dual mode handsets. This, according to Nokia’s Ahava, has now been achieved. “In the spring, we were able to agree on key parameters such as frame lengths and chip rates to harmonise the two.” An ITU workshop, planned for November, will determine if a common global IMT-2000 standard can be achieved from the various submissions. A final decision on the nature of IMT-2000 will be made next March. The most ambitious trial to date of third generation mobile phone technology is being carried out by Ericsson. Working with Swedish mobile phone operator Telia, Ericsson plans to have W-CDMA technology, a component of Europe’s UMTS third generation proposal, up and running in Stockholm by the autumn. The system will be used to test multimedia content transmissions and wireless Internet access.


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