UMTS 'Third Generation' Cellular

What is UMTS™?

UMTS™ (Universal Mobile Telephone Service) is a Third Generation (3G) Mobile System being developed by ETSI™ within the ITU’s IMT-2000 framework.

It will provide data speeds of up to 2 Mbps, making portable videophones a reality.

UMTS has the support of many major telecommunications operators and manufacturers because it represents a unique opportunity to create a mass market for highly personalised and user friendly mobile access to the Information Society.

UMTS seeks to build on and extend the capability of today’s mobile, cordless and satellite technologies by providing increased capacity, data capability and a far greater range of services using an innovative radio access scheme and an enhanced, evolving core network.

Spectrum for UMTS
WRC 2000 identified the frequency bands 1885-2025 MHz and 2110-2200 MHz for future IMT-2000 systems, with the bands 1980-2010 MHz and 2170-2200 MHz intended for the satellite part of these future systems.

How and When?
For the commercial and technical success of UMTS, and to meet its 2002 launch deadline, a number of steps are being undertaken by manufacturers, standards bodies, operators and regulators around the world:

- Creating an adequate regulatory framework

- Ensuring availability of licences

- Allocating adequate spectrum to operators

- Producing timely UMTS standards

- Encouraging simultaneous uptake of UMTS in several countries to stimulate uptake of services in a world-wide market.

- Full commercial phase (2002-2005), with performance and capability enhancements, and the introduction of new, sophisticated UMTS services.

Phases Towards the Development of UMTS
Full commercial deployment will be reached through the following main steps:

- Extension of GSM’s capability with packet and high speed data operation

- Pre-UMTS Trial Phase either in subsets of real GSM networks or in isolated packet-based networks

- Basic deployment phase in 2002, including the incorporation of UTRA base stations into "live" networks and the launch of satellite-based UMTS services

UMTS™ and ETSI™ are trademarks of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.