Mobile phone heads warn of UMTS problems ahead

Mobile phone heads warn of UMTS problems ahead
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.


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