FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 1999
"Good News for American Wireless Companies, Customers"
CHICAGO, IL, March 22, 1999 -- The North American GSM Alliance, LLC today praised reports from Brazil concerning a key International Telecommunication Union (ITU) radio communications committee endorsement of a multiple technologies solution for determining radio air-interface specifications for third generation (3G) wireless systems.
"This is good news for American wireless phone companies and their customers," said Don Warkentin, Chairman of the North American GSM Alliance, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Aerial Communications. "By preserving the North American tenet of multiple technologies and the inherent benefits of competition, it ensures that U.S. wireless operators will continue to select the technology that works best for their networks and customers."
For the past two weeks, an ITU radio communications committee, known as Task Group 8/1, has been meeting in Brazil to discuss development of detailed terrestrial and satellite radio interface specifications relating to the ITU's International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT-2000) standards-setting process. These standards would form the foundation for the next generation of wireless communications systems. These advanced wireless systems will provide high-speed data and Internet access, full-motion video and other sophisticated multi-media services, as well as global roaming.
In its final document, the committee concluded that a "number of radio interfaces is therefore needed to encourage rapid deployment of IMT-2000 services globally." The document also acknowledges input received from the global wireless community, as well as the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), a trade group of U.S. and European business executives, which recently announced support for a multiple technologies approach to 3G standards.
At the February 17 TABD meeting, all major wireless manufacturers and many large system operators agreed to support multiple modes including a form of W-CDMA technology, a form of cdma2000 technology, and TDD mode, as well as a TDMA standard. The three CDMA-based modes will vary with regard to such parameters as chip rate, synchronization structure, and pilot structure, to accommodate all operators' business needs.
"This is the equivalent of building a super highway with multiple express lanes. By enabling multiple technology modes, it enables the carriers to choose the appropriate lane that works best for their technology," said Warkentin. "This kind of marketplace competition -- not forced convergence -- will bring increased innovation, technological solutions and more benefits for consumers."
Warkentin cautions that while the results of the Brazil meetings are positive and could help achieve a commonality for Third Generation Wireless standards, the U.S. government and the ITU need to be diligent in ensuring that technical parameters continue to enable, not disable, the advantages of multiple technologies.
The North American GSM Alliance L.L.C. is a group of 16 North America's leading digital wireless Personal Communication Services companies. Using Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications, Alliance companies provide superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and leading-edge wireless voice, data and fax features for customers, whether at home, away or abroad.
GSM Alliance members include: Aerial Communications, Inc., Airadigm Communications, Inc.; BellSouth Mobility DCS; Conestoga Wireless Company; Cook Inlet PCS; DIGIPH PCS; Iowa Wireless Services, LP; Microcell Telecommunications Inc.; NPI Wireless; Omnipoint Communications LLC; Pacific Bell Wireless; Powertel, Inc.; TWS, Inc.; Western Total Communications; Western Wireless Corp.; and Wireless 2000 PCS. The GSM Alliance works in cooperation with North American GSM equipment manufacturers: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel Networks and Siemens.
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