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UWCC Endorses Multiple Third Generation Technologies For Deploying Wireless Services
Posted: 19-Dec-2000 [Source: UWCC press release]

[UWCC endorses UMTS as an additional 3G technology option for TDMA operators acquiring new spectrum.]

Bellevue, WA -- At its recent quarterly meeting, the Board of Governors for the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC) unanimously voiced their continuing commitment to the development and deployment of TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) wireless technologies. Following the meeting, Sheila Mickool, President & CEO of the UWCC, stated, "TDMA is the number one technology in the Western Hemisphere, is robust, and has expanded at a 78% growth rate during the past 12 months." She added, "EDGE continues to gain momentum as a spectrally efficient and cost-effective solution for providing Third Generation (3G) services to the mass market." UWCC Chairman of the Board, Umesh Amin, commented, "The UWCC Board member companies have a high degree of confidence in the near term growth of TDMA and its multiple implementation options for providing 3G services worldwide."

Furthermore, the UWCC Board of Governors officially announced the endorsement of UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), also known as WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access), as an additional 3G technology option for TDMA operators acquiring new spectrum. This endorsement builds upon the current UWCC programs of interoperability and convergence with the GSM community. Ms. Mickool said, "Our support for UMTS is consistent with the UWCC's goal for global seamless voice and data communications." She added, "The UWCC is a Market Representation Partner in the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) where both UMTS and EDGE are being standardized on the same core network." The convergence of TDMA and GSM Third Generation (3G) data strategies could provide global wireless Internet services to over 450 million subscribers worldwide.

Several UWCC Board members expressed their support for TDMA's continued evolution through multiple technology paths. Rod Nelson, Chief Technology Officer for AT&T Wireless, participated in the Board meeting and defined his company's clear commitment to TDMA, EDGE and the UWCC. He stated, "Maintaining the quality and capacity of our existing TDMA based services is our highest goal. Our choice to implement GPRS, EDGE and UMTS services we believe is consistent with the convergence strategy the UWCC has pursued for the past several years. Due to these activities, TDMA carriers have a robust path toward the future."

The initial deployments of EDGE systems are expected to begin in the 4th quarter of 2001 with large-scale deployments in 2002. Also attending the meeting, Hermon Pon, Chief Technology Officer, Wireless Internet, Nortel Networks, stated, "The evolutionary path for TDMA remains focused on interoperability and convergence with GSM. Given the global market dynamics and developments, options for TDMA operators' data convergence with GSM are being expanded to not only include EDGE but also UMTS."

The UWCC will continue to provide marketing and technology support to the TDMA community. Amin commented, "The recent TDMA carrier announcements and the UWCC UMTS endorsement demonstrates that the UWCC's programs and partnerships involving TDMA, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS technologies are leading the way to provide worldwide seamless voice and data communications." Amin continued, "Our working relationships with ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute), GSM Association, and the 3GPP, will intensify since they are 'right on track' with the goals of the TDMA community."

TDMA continues to be the number one technology choice in the Americas serving over 53.5 million subscribers worldwide at the end of the third quarter 2000. There were 24.1 million subscribers in Latin America at the end of third quarter, representing a 121% increase the past 12 months. Additionally, TDMA continues to be the leading technology in North America through the third quarter of 2000, where it recorded 27.3 million subscribers, representing a 61% increase over third quarter of 1999.

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