The high profile campaign by seven mobile communications heavyweights to push a joint standard for radio access has stumbled at its first hurdle.
The UMTS Alliance - which numbers Alcatel, Bosch Telecom, Italtel, Motorola, Nortel, Siemens and Sony - failed to win a majority vote from ETSI, Europe?s telecomms standards body.
At December?s ETSI meeting, the alliance gained only 42 per cent of votes, compared to 58 per cent for wider band CDMA proposals from rival pitchers Ericsson and Nokia.
A qualifying majority vote of 71 per cent was required. Ericsson and Nokia had carried out a relatively low profile campaign.
ETSI members will vote again at the end of this month. The winning standard will then be submitted to the global standards body, the International Telecommunications Union, in the summer.
The UMTS Alliance believes a combined standard for radio access based on a combination of the TDMA and CDMA specifications would enable systems to easily send and receive voice and data. However, both groups agree that the basic network for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) should be based on evolved core GSM, a development of the current GSM standard.
An Alcatel spokesperson said the Alliance would accept the outcome of ETSI?s new vote even if it favoured the Ericsson-Nokia camp.
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