A group of European IT and telecomms suppliers has issued proposals for a high speed mobile communications network to replace ISDN.
At the same time, the UK government published a consultation document on the so-called third generation of mobile systems.
The group - which includes many of the mobile carriers plus Intel and Fujitsu - has outlined a 2Mbits per second mobile network that will replace ISDN. The system is called Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) and the group, the UMTS Forum, expects it to be commercially operational by 2002. UMTS will offer wireless multimedia services and will be based on the convergence of fixed, cellular and satellite technologies.
The group said: ?The UMTS vision encompasses broadband access for public and private applications, residential cordless solutions and the use of satellites to deliver service in remote locations.?
According to Monika Bezler, head of the Forum?s market aspects group, UMTS will surpass ISDN in speed. While it can currently take up to 10 minutes to send large data files and video clips, UMTS promises to shave the time down to seconds.
However, before work can begin, the group called for the EC and national governments to remove barriers to industry investment, particularly with new policies towards licensing and spectrum availability.
The Forum has published a report outlining several recommendations. It suggests a European licensing regime should be defined by national regulatory bodies during next year, with operators identified by the end of 1998. It also said integration of different networking technologies with services such as telecomms and broadcasting should be encouraged.
The UK government?s paper, entitled 'Multimedia Communications On the Move', said spectrum space will be auctioned to operators during next year, with services commencing in 2002.
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