The European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) has settled on a compromise radio interface standard for the next generation of mobile systems.
A compromise was settled by ETSI at the end of a tumultuous two-day debate, which threatened to further delay introduction of the network if no decision were reached.
Officials agreed on a compromise solution called UTRA - UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access - which claims to combine the best of the previous competing proposals: W-CDMA and TD-CDMA.
Analysts were surprised a compromise was chosen - it was widely expected that W-CDMA, the standard proposed by Ericsson and Nokia would win.
However analysts applauded the decision. ?At least they?ve made a decision now, which is good. Now the licensing procedures can go ahead,? said Henry Harrison, consultant at telecomms consultancy, Schema.
UTRA will provide the radio access technology to UMTS, the next generation mobile communications network which will offer wireless multimedia services. The network wil become commercially operational in 2002. UMTS data rates will ultimately reach 2Mbps.
The compromise was made after weeks of negotiation. At a preliminary vote in December, WCDMA gained 58 per cent of the votes, but failed to reach the qualifying majority of 71 per cent. TD-CDMA, which was proposed by Alcatel, Nortel, and Siemens, achieved 38.7 per cent.
At yesterday?s start of ETSI?s two-day meeting stalemate was reached again as W-CDMA won 61.1 per cent of the votes. But it finally agreed a compromise late today.
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