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> Get Ready for 3G! The UMTS Forum Visits China

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On June 18, 2002 Chinese operators, vendors and government officials gathered to mingle with representatives of The UMTS Forum arriving from Europe. The objective of The UMTS Forum's visit was to educate, inform, and promote the 3GPP standard, especially the advantages of UMTS/WCDMA (wideband CDMA) due to the economies of scale it offers. The gathering was co-organized by the China Institute of Communications (CIC) and Zola Consulting with MFC Insight.

Promotion: Why Should China Choose UMTS?

3G mobile deployment offers China exciting opportunities in overseas trade and local employment to meet global market demand for terminals, network equipment and services. China stands to benefit from increased economic growth and overseas trade by confirming its choice of UMTS/WCDMA (Wideband CDMA) technology combined with TD-(S)CDMA to develop 3G networks.

Forum Chairman Dr. Bernd Eylert stated, 'In less than five years, the Chinese mobile market has grown from less than 10 million to more than 170 million subscribers. With this rapid growth set to reach more than 400 million users during 2005, China must act now to ensure that its technology decisions do not isolate it from the global market opportunity for 3G that will exceed one trillion dollars in operator-retained revenues alone over the next ten years.'

'With a timely selection of 3GPP technology, China has the opportunity to take its place in the world market as a leading proponent of next-generation networks and services.'

3G industry body The UMTS Forum has stated that the economies of scale obtained by deploying UMTS will give China the chance to bridge its digital divide with other countries and consolidate its position as a leading mobile nation over the next decade.

By aligning with more than 110 GSM operators who have already selected the 3GPP standard using UMTS/WCDMA technology to launch 3G systems, Chinese operators can leverage all the benefits of the world's most popular choice for 3G deployments - including ease of migration from GSM for incumbents, a greater choice of feature-rich terminals and economies of scale for new and existing players alike. The region's local economy will also benefit, with fresh employment opportunities in manufacturing industry plus the chance to export valuable IPR's in the form of services and applications from China's software developer community.

Using WCDMA technology, UMTS offers the most cost-efficient migration path for operators of second-generation GSM networks via GPRS to full 3G capability, simplifying re-use of existing network infrastructure while giving operators access to fresh radio spectrum to support increasing demand for media-rich new services over the next decade and beyond.

UMTS Forum Vice Chairman Josef Huber had an interesting comment: 'There are over 700 million GSM subscribers globally today, which definitely dominates the mobile market. Therefore, 3G should be build on GSM.'

As for 3G license holders, Dr. Sidenbladh stated if a country issues 3G licenses through a beauty contest, regional and local carriers are more likely to win the licenses; if a country issues 3G licenses through an auction, global carriers have more chance. What will happen in China? Will the government choose a beauty contest or an auction? or will the licenses be assigned? One day we will know.

China region contact: for more information about this event.


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September 2002:
The 3GPP Standard: the right solution for China
European 3G developments
US takes positive steps on 3G
Solutions for 3G in Latin America
WLAN offers revenue opportunities for 3G operators
Forum looks at IMS
Understanding the social impact of 3G
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