Four European mobile phone manufacturers are banding together to develop the next generation of GSM aimed at adding wideband wireless multimedia capabilities. Nokia Oy, LM Ericsson AB, Siemens AG and Alcatel Alstrom SA, will put forward a joint proposal for the planned European third-generation mobile system -the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) – based on an evolved core-GSM network. The planned network will provide the infrastructure for wideband wireless multimedia applications and internet connections that will use existing GSM core networks. UTMS will provide an additional layer to GSM that will add far higher data rates for high-speed internet/intranet connections as well as full motion video and multimedia applications. The land base station system will be launched in direct competition with satellite networks planned by deployed by Iridium LLC, Teledesic Corp, Motorola Inc and Alcatel’s own joint venture with Loral Space & Communications Ltd. The four GSM infrastructure manufactures have a clear incentive to try and build on their GSM technology as fast as possible to head of the threat from the satellite ventures. Both the satellite and the UTMS systems will use the same 2 GHz frequency range. Because the 2 Ghz frequency is already allocated for UMTS and designated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for global, next-generation mobile services – IMT-2000, the four companies say they will also push for UMTS and IMT-2000 network interfaces to be aligned. Earlier in the year, the European Commission said it was negotiating with a number of European firms over the development of UTMS. The EC, which helped in the widespread acceptance of GSM, says it will work with manufacturers, cellular and satellite communications operators and regulators to push through the UTMS development.