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The 3G window of opportunity
Posted: 28-Mar-2001 [Source: Financial Times]

[Qualcomm's CDMA2000 technology gaining global ground while Europe struggles with its UMTS infrastructure development. A global unified technology appears out of reach for now.]

by Alan Cane in London -- "Europe's proudest technological boast is its leadership in mobile telephony. Of 700m cellular subscribers worldwide, more than two-thirds use the GSM (Global System for Mobile telephony) standard created, adopted and nurtured in Europe.

"The economic consequences for the region have been profound. Companies such as Nokia, the leading cellular phone maker, and Vodafone, the world's largest mobile operator, are the powerhouses of the wireless economy.

"Europe's leadership may not, however, survive the move to the next generation of mobile phone technology. The efforts of regulators, vendors and operators to ensure Europe stays ahead of the pack as the world moves to third-generation (3G) services could inadvertently cost it its dominance.

"Its chief competitor is snapping at its heels. Qualcomm of the US recently secured a licence for 3G in Australia in what many see as a gauntlet-hurling exercise designed to show its system works best.


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