Leading mobile operators including China Mobile, KPN, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Vodafone have joined forces to develop a common vision for mobile networks and technology that will take the industry beyond the HSPA & EVDO(1) roadmaps.
The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) initiative, which has this week become a limited UK company, has created a set of requirements for a future wide area mobile broadband network that is designed to offer enhanced customer benefits by delivering competitive broadband performance alongside high levels of interoperability.
The initiative, which will work alongside existing standards bodies, will seek to shape the development and standardisation of the next generation of mobile technologies. With a strong emphasis on practicality, the group has specified that the evolutionary path should focus on existing infrastructure and spectrum allocation, in order to develop a platform for creating new and innovative services.
Under its recommendations, the NGMN initiative has outlined a series of features that will help to guide mobile networks beyond current HSPA & EVDO technologies while delivering competitive services in line with customer demand. The guiding principles include but are not limited to:
* High levels of data throughput alongside low levels of latency
* Low operation and maintenance costs
* Compatibility with legacy networks
* Support of high levels of authentication and security, and differentiated quality of service
* Improved terminal certification schemes
Echoing the welcome statement made by all seven founding members on the NGMN website, Thomas Geitner, the current Chairman of NGMN Ltd, said the move would help to create a high-performance and efficient mobile network for the future: "As major players within the industry and heavy consumers of mobile broadband infrastructure, we believe that the future of mobile networks should be determined by a mix of technical and performance standards.
"We are convinced that by drawing on our combined experience and commercial insight as operators, we will be able to bring a whole new perspective to the debate and continue to ensure that we give our customers exactly what they want."
In order to further the objectives of NGMN within a recognised and accepted legal framework, the mobile operators have created a limited UK company called "NGMN Limited".
The founding members of NGMN Limited are keen for other mobile network operators and key industry partners, such as infrastructure and handset manufacturers and other relevant technology providers, to join the initiative and help NGMN achieve its objectives. At the same time, research institutes, universities and similar organisations are also encouraged to join as advisors.