In the latest battle to dominate the next generation mobile communications network, Alcatel has joined with Italtel, Nortel and Siemens to put its weight behind a standard for radio access.
This would combine TDMA and CDMA technologies and would be complementary to other would-be standards, which many of the members also back. Last month, Alcatel and Siemens were joined by Nokia and Ericsson to back an development of the current GSM system - 'evolved-core GSM' - as the basic network for a UMTS-based third generation mobile environment. This will enable users to send and receive multimedia services as well as use the network for voice communications. And in June, Nokia and Ericsson announced support of wideband CDMA for radio access.
According to Alistair Urie, director of product strategy at Alcatel, the use of evolved-core GSM would provide current GSM with a smooth migration path and enable dual GSM/UMTS phones to be used on both existing and future GSM networks. Meanwhile a combined TDMA-CDMA standard for radio access would enable systems to easily send and receive voice and data.
?The benefit all this will give users is that they will be able to afford dual mode UMTS and GSM phones and take advantage of full multimedia for not much more than today?s GSM devices,? said Urie.
ETSI, the European standards authority, is due to meet in December to decide on which proposals to put forward to the International Telecommunications Union next summer.
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