Four telecomms companies have joined together to develop specifications for the next generation wireless communications standard.
Lucent, Motorola, Nortel, and Qualcomm will agree on a third generation system that will use wider-band Code Division Multiple Division Access (CDMA) technology, and be based on the existing IS-95 standard.
The group aims to deliver its specifications to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) by the end of the year, and to be used commercially by 2000.
The proposed standard will meet the ITU?s requirements for IMT-2000 high speed data transport to a single subscriber. These requirements include wireless data rates of 144kbits per second at mobile speeds, 384kps at pedestrian speeds, and 2mbps in a stationary environment.
Jerry Pioch, director of strategic marketing at Motorola?s cellular infrastructure group, said the standard will be targeted at users of the current IS-95 CDMA technology. Qualcomm owns the patent to the IS-95 network for which there are 2.5 million subscribers worldwide.
CDMA is particularly widely used in North America, and more recently in Asia. Nortel recently won a $130 million, four-year deal to build a CDMA network in the Russian Federation, China, and the US. There are one million subscribers of CDMA in Korea alone, while 57 per cent of new digital PCS licences are based on CDMA, according to a Qualcomm spokesperson.
However, Europe is entrenched in GSM, and Pioch said the new standard will not be aimed replacing GSM. There are groups in Europe that are developing future GSM standards.
?I don?t believe there will be one world standard. I think there will be several third generation systems,? said Pioch.
Because of the legacy of GSM and CDMA, which will be difficult to erase, Qualcomm and Vodafone recently joined together on a pilot to combine GSM and CDMA in the UK.
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