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May 11 2000

UMTS Forum welcomes ITU approval of IMT-2000 radio specifications

May 11 2000: Progress toward launch within the next two years of the world’s first third generation (3G) mobile communications systems took another major step forward last week with the approval of key technical specifications for UMTS/IMT-2000.

Speaking at a joint social event hosted by The UMTS Forum and the GSM Association to welcome delegates to the month-long WRC-2000 meeting in Istanbul, Chairman of the UMTS Forum Dr Bernd Eylert welcomed the results of last week’s (May 5) Radiocommunication Assembly meeting that approved radio interface specifications for IMT-2000.

"This landmark decision by ITU reinforces the confidence of the global investment community that UMTS/IMT-2000 is soon to become an exciting reality", commented Dr Eylert. "A stable, approved set of radio interface specification serves as a highly positive message to network operators, equipment vendors and the content industries alike, who can now accelerate their own business plans in anticipation of the first IMT-2000 network launches." Japan is anticipated to be the first ITU region to launch its own IMT-2000 networks in Summer 2001, followed closely by Europe and selected other regions that will open first networks commercially early in 2002.

The UMTS Forum is attending this month’s World Radio Conference (WRC-2000) to voice its support of the ITU-R’s work relating to Agenda item 1.6.1, proposing an additional 160MHz of terrestrial radio spectrum to support the future global mass market for wireless multimedia services. Market studies by the UMTS Forum have already indicated that this market will exceed 2 billion mobile users worldwide before the end of the decade. The Forum is urging administrations across all ITU Regions to make this additional spectrum available on a globally harmonised basis by 2005-2010, and is supporting candidacy of the frequency band 2500-2690MHz as the "best-fit" choice to ensure the long-term success of IMT-2000.

The UMTS Forum’s Key Messages on additional spectrum for IMT-2000 can be downloaded free of charge at www.umts-forum.org/brochures/WRC_leaflet.pdf (.PDF format).

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