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October 7th 1998: 

The UMTS Forum has welcomed ETSI’s recent decision (September 29th) on the scope of the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) for third-generation mobile system specification work. Said UMTS Forum Chairman Thomas Beijer: 
"ETSI’s positive vote to forge a partnership with recognised global standards bodies and other parties may be seen as a key step on the path towards the true globalisation of UMTS. We now urge regulators to address the need for the timely identification and availability of sufficient spectrum to support the successful launch of UMTS networks." 
The ETSI decision coincides with the publication of a series of five reports from The UMTS Forum that offers players across the telecommunications and IT sectors valuable insight into the critical steps towards successful implementation of third-generation mobile communications networks. Four brand new titles examining spectrum, licensing and technology issues join the Forum’s first report, A Regulatory Framework for UMTS that was first published in Summer 1997. 
With the first UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks scheduled to open for business in 2002 a number of key milestones have already been reached, including: 
  • The identification by governments of third-generation radio spectrum;
  • The selection by ETSI of a new combined W-CDMA/TD-CDMA air interface (Universal Terrestrial Radio Access) and its submission to the ITU as a member of the IMT-2000 family of air interface standards for third-generation networks.

The third-generation licensing process is already underway in Europe, with governments expected to make license awards for the commercial operation of UMTS services as soon as 1999. 

Coinciding with the recent UMTS ’98 conference in Rome, the UMTS Forum has published a total of five reports that provide an authoritative overview and detailed recommendations on many critical aspects concerning third generation mobile communications systems. Printed in a convenient A5 format, the reports are titled: 
  • #1 - A Regulatory Framework for UMTS [First published Summer 1997]
  • #2 - The Path towards UMTS - Technologies for the Information Society
  • #3 - The Impact of Licence Cost Levels on the UMTS Business Case
  • #4 - Considerations of Licensing Conditions for UMTS Network Operations
  • #5 - Minimum Spectrum Demand per Public Terrestrial UMTS Operator in the Initial Phase

These reports have been produced as a result of intensive efforts amongst all members of the UMTS Forum, who have reached consensus on a number of key recommendations. The reports are intended to help inform regulators, investors and key industry decision-makers about UMTS and the exciting opportunities it brings for innovative multimedia services and increased competition in mobile communications services. They are considered as key inputs and a catalyst to achieving early UMTS licensing certainty. The UMTS Forum is urging governments in Europe and beyond to award licenses before the end of 1999. 

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