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Market Description

W-CDMA / UMTS / ITS-2000


W-CDMA (wide-band code division multiple access) is one of the labels given to so called third generation (3G) digital Personal Communications standards. In Japan this standard is being promoted by NTT DoCOMo, and has won acceptance as the next generation of cellular communications. UMTS stands for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System, the European version of third generation digital wireless telephones. An effort similar to UMTS is underway in ITU under the name of IMT-2000 (International Mobile Telecommunication 2000), originally FPLMTS (Future Public Land Mobile Telecommunication System). These systems focus on higher data rate transmissions, seamless worldwide coverage, and improved services. Key features include:

  • based on wide band CDMA technology for high spectral efficiency (minimum 0.45 Mbits/MHz/cell)
  • multi-band operation in the 500 MHz to 2.5 GHz range for frequency independance and seamless worldwide operation
  • voice, data, video and multimedia services at 384 kbps to 2Mbps data rates
  • superior voice quality
  • backwards compatible with GSM and IS-136 to preserve infrastructure investments
  • enhanced packet and circuit-switched data networking
  • supports hierarchical cell structures
  • initial macrocell development with less than 1 MHz spectral clearing
  • Supports service / data rates for IMT-2000 applications
  • security same as PSTN / ISDN
Initial deployment will be in Japan, around the turn of the century. Europe is expected to follow within a year or so, then North America in the 2003-2005 timeframe.

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this page last updated: 1 October 1999