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June 12, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:27pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Both LM Ericsson and Nokia Oy, the Scandinavian telecoms equipment manufacturers, have thrown their weight behind W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) as a third generation mobile system, while not discounting the European-based GSM community, which feared it could be left out. The two companies have submitted a statement to the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), Japan’s standards body for telecoms, in support of the specification put forward by NTT DoCoMo, NTT’s mobile phone subsidiary. Both companies are already under contract to develop systems and terminals for DoCoMo, which plans to have a commercial W-CDMA system up and running by the year 2000. NTT and the Ministry of Posts and Telecoms specifications call for W-CDMA able to carry data at up to 2Mbps. W-CDMA is optimized for packet-switched data such as internet applications and electronic multimedia mail. It also offers high-capacity circuit-switched capabilities for delivery of full-motion video services and high quality voice communications. In their submission to the ARIB, the companies have sought to provide a migration path to W-CDMA from the GSM technology currently employed throughout the world. According to Nokia and Ericsson, there will be GSM networks on all continents serving 300 million subscribers by the end of the year 2001when the first networks employing W-CDMA radio access technology will be commercially deployed. Enabling the two systems to integrate may well prove a solution to two conflicting problems in the development of a third generation mobile global communications standard. Japan has long been keen to be more involved in the global standards process but many GSM users and suppliers would reject any new technology that could not be integrated with todayÆs GSM networks. Other suppliers include Motorola Inc and Lucent Technologies Inc, which together with Northern Telecom Ltd and Qualcomm Inc have also announced support for W-CDMA. All four have been keen supporters of existing narrowband CDMA, or IS-95, systems of the kind used in the new PCS networks in the US.

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