One2One, Orange to trial UMTS

One2One, Orange to trial UMTS
David Manners Mobile phone operators One2One and Orange have announced trials in the UK for third generation services based on UMTS, the universal mobile telecommunications system. One2One has signed up with Ericsson to use its UMTS trial facility being set up in Guildford. “The Ericsson testbed will play an important role in ensuring UMTS incorporates the best possible standards,” said Peter Ramsdale, One2One’s chief engineer. Meanwhile, Orange is working with Ascend, Cisco and Fujitsu to set up a multi-million pound trial in the Bristol area. Both trials will offer users a range of services, such as multimedia phones that include video and high speed Internet access. UMTS promises to increase bandwidth to between 384kbit/s and 2Mbit/s, depending on the distance to basestations and whether the mobile user is travelling or not. The technology is based on wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) technology. However, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has yet to decide upon its official standard for third generation networks. UMTS could end up as a Europe only network, with no worldwide roaming capabilities. However, with the UK government delaying the licensing of spectrum for third generation mobiles, this should ensure the eventual ITU standard is used within the UK. BT, now authorised by the DTI to bid for one of five UMTS operator licences, is trialling a system with Telecom Modus, the ERA Technology and NEC joint venture.


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