The global wireless industry's leading providers of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) handset and infrastructure equipment announced today they plan to work together, with the CDMA Development Group, and with standards bodies worldwide, to develop specifications for next generation wireless communications standards. The announcement was made jointly by Lucent, Motorola, Nortel (Northern Telecom) and Qualcomm at the start of the Second Annual CDMA World Congress in Singapore.
This new Third Generation (3G) system will use wider-band CDMA technology, based on IS-95, to deliver advanced wireless services, including toll quality voice, high speed data, video, and multimedia applications.
The proposed standards will meet or exceed the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) requirements for IMT-2000 high speed data transport to a single subscriber. These requirements include wireless data rates of 144 kilobits per second (kbps) at mobile speeds, 384 kbps at pedestrian speeds, and 2 megabits per second in a stationary environment.
A key aspect of the new specifications is that they would evolve from and be compatible with today's wireless systems which use the IS-95 CDMA air interface and ANSI-41 networks. These new specifications can be applied to any frequency band so that the advanced services can be deployed in the existing cellular frequency band, the existing PCS frequency band, and future FPLMTS frequency allocations.
"Our goal in working together to develop these new air interface and network specifications is to offer operators significant incentive to consider CDMA as their new and future digital technology, and to provide existing IS-95 operators with a clear migration path to the next generation of wireless services to protect their current investments in CDMA networks worldwide. In addition, the specifications will enable operators in newly opened spectrum to integrate their systems into the large community of IS-41 based networks," the companies said in a joint statement.
To date, the four companies together have contracts to provide commercial or trial CDMA systems in more than 25 countries.
"The rich experience each company gained from its wide deployment of IS-95, for commercial CDMA cellular and PCS systems will enable us to provide our individual customers with a smooth evolution from current IS-95 systems to a wider-band CDMA technology without building new networks from the ground up, and with continued support of existing IS-95 subscriber units," the companies said.
Among the more dramatic services and applications made possible by the new wireless technology are enhanced global roaming, wireless video services, video teleconferencing, internet access and interactive entertainment.
The four companies expect the new specifications to achieve performance equivalent to, or better than, the performance of other publicly disclosed proposals for 3G systems. The four companies stated that they will also continue to support development of other Third Generation standards in other regions of the world.
The new specifications would enable the re-use of IS-41 network elements including, but not limited to, switches, Home Location Registers, Visitor Location Registers, Interworking Functions and subscriber databases. The specifications also will enable the re-use of existing PSTN interfaces and administrative elements including billing systems and network management systems.
The four companies have begun work to develop these new specifications in the TR45 Subcommittee of the Telecommunications Industry Association. The specification will then be submitted to the ITU for standardization.
The first system applications of the proposed specifications are expected to go into commercial operation by the year 2000. Operators in Japan,China, Latin America and the U.S. already have expressed great interest in adopting this new generation technology.
# # #