European telecomms standards authority ETSI meets this weekend to decide whether to push forward the Nokia-Ericsson backed standard for next generation mobile communications.
Today the two vendors won the support of mobile operator Orange for the proposed radio access interface standard, wideband CDMA (WCDMA). The two handset equipment manufacturers already boast the support of other GSM operators including Vodafone, Cellnet, Telecom Italia Mobile, Swisscom, Mannesmann and Telia.
ETSI needs to decide between two proposed standards, wideband CDMA and a hybrid CDMA and TDMA supported by a consortium including Alcatel, Siemens, Motorola and Nortel. At December?s ETSI meeting, wideband CDMA won 58 per cent of the preliminary votes, beating votes for the consortium with 42 per cent.
The standards body is due to make its decision next week with the winning standard being submitted to the global standards body, the International Telecommunications Union, in the summer.
Nokia and Ericsson believe WCDMA has been researched and developed more extensively both in Europe and Japan. Their supporters also maintain that a single WCDMA interface offers far greater potential for a competitive equipment supply industry, encompassing European, Japanese and other Asian-Pacific manufacturers.
The competiting camp believe a combined TDMA and CDMA interface would enable systems to easily send and receive voice and data.
The winning standard will be used as the radio access interface technology for the European digital Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) which is based on evolved-core GSM. The network will be commercially operational in 2002.
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