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UMTS Mobilizing the Data World
Posted: 30-Jun-2004 [Source: 3G Americas]

[UMTS experiencing more rapid growth than GSM at the same point in its development.]

Bellevue, WA -- UMTS, the leading global standard for 3G, is being rapidly deployed around the world with customer growth at a rate faster than that experienced by GSM, the most successful global wireless technology with more than one billion plus customers, at the same point in its development. 3G Americas today announced the publication of a new white paper, The Evolution of UMTS -- 3GPP Release 5 and Beyond, collaboratively developed by its board member companies to provide a current progress report on the fast growing commercialization of UMTS.

"Nearly six million customers are using UMTS 3G services today and that number is expected to more than double by the end of the year." stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. "We have seen the commercial launch of 57 networks in 21 countries to date with an additional 93 operators in 37 countries now pre-commercial, planning, trialing, or awarded UMTS licenses for their evolution to 3G. Also, with 32 more potential licenses, UMTS is clearly leading the way as the global 3G wireless standard for voice and data."

The Evolution of UMTS -- 3GPP Release 5 and Beyond provides information on the performance and spectral/network efficiency advantages offered through Release 5 (Rel'5), coupled with new service creation opportunities made possible through the IMS architecture. Both are key factors accelerating the interest and momentum towards the realization of Rel'5 of UMTS. In March 2003, 3G Americas provided a white paper on UMTS R'99, and the newly published paper builds upon that report with an overview of key 3GPP Rel'5 specifications and its features including HSDPA, IMS, and IP UTRAN, which will deliver significant data capacity, performance, and feature functionality benefits. HSDPA will provide significant downlink data capacity and throughput improvements; IMS will provide a flexible architecture enabling new and more advanced multimedia applications; and IP UTRAN will realize network efficiencies and reduce costs.

Vicki Livingston, 3G Americas' Director of Marketing, commented "Release 5 takes UMTS a step further with enhancements that will benefit both customers and operators with higher data rates at lower cost." She continued, "One example is the cost advantage of 3G over 2G with the cost per megabyte falling from several dollars to less than ten cents per megabyte. This lower cost means compelling services can be delivered at reasonable prices, helping 3G to reach critical mass."

UMTS continues to establish its global 3G wireless leadership position and several operators have already announced plans for UMTS Rel'5 deployments or trials including the early 2005 launch by NTT DoCoMo on its FOMA system. In the U.S. market, AT&T Wireless announced plans to commercially launch UMTS in four markets by the end of 2004. Cingular has announced UMTS trials in Atlanta this summer with potential UMTS commercial deployments in 2005.

The Evolution of UMTS -- 3GPP Release 5 and Beyond is available for free download at: The paper includes a complete status list of UMTS networks based on information from the EMC World Cellular Database, the UMTS Forum, and 3G Americas.

About 3G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Wireless Technology The mission of 3G Americas is to promote and facilitate the seamless deployment of GSM, GPRS, EDGE, and UMTS throughout the Americas for the benefit of consumers. The organization fully supports the Third Generation (3G) technology migration strategy GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS adopted by many operators in the Americas that is expected to account for up to 85% of next-generation customers worldwide. 3G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, WA with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas, TX. For more information, visit our website at

3G Americas' Board of Governor members include AT&T Wireless (USA), Cable & Wireless (West Indies), Cingular Wireless (USA), Ericsson, Gemplus, HP, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Nokia, Nortel Networks, Openwave Systems, Research In Motion, Rogers Wireless (Canada), Siemens, T-Mobile USA, Telcel (Mexico), and Texas Instruments.


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