Mobile phone operators move closer to worldwide standard

Mobile phone operators move closer to worldwide standard
Richard Wilson World mobile phone operators have moved closer to creating a global mobile communications service. The world’s telecoms standards bodies under the guise of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have agreed to collaborate to ensure that the next generation of mobile phones will work on all continents of the world. If driven through by the operators this will mean that European handsets conforming to the proposed next generation UMTS standard will operate on networks in North America and Japan. While the US, Europe and Japan are pursuing different technical standards for future mobile phones, this ITU agreement should ensure that operators support the use of dual standard handsets on their networks. The move, which is being promoted as the International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 (IMT-2000) initiative, also includes for the first time cordless telephones used to replace fixed line telephone services in homes and offices. This means that mobile phones will also have to be usable as cordless telephones, such as Europe’s DECT standard, in the home. There are also proposals to increase the data bandwidth of next generation mobile phone systems to let them compete with fixed line services. However, the 2Mbit/s data rate proposed for mobiles falls well short of current fixed line technologies like ADSL, which operate at up to 6Mbit/s in one direction.


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