(June 10, 1999) - At the UMTS Congress in Monte Carlo today, nine global leaders in wireless communications - AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., British Telecommunications Plc, Rogers Cantel Inc., Ericsson, Lucent Technologies, Nokia Corporation, Nortel Networks, Telenor AS,and Telecom Italia Mobile - announced the formation of a new focus group to promote an Internet Protocol (IP) based wireless system for third generation (3G) mobile communications technology. The newly initiated focus group will go by the name 3G.IP. The nine companies have committed to support the development of next-generation wireless services such as voice, high speed data and Internet access, imaging and video conferencing on an all IP based network architecture using a common core network based on evolved General Packet Radio System (GPRS).
The combined efforts of the 3G.IP member companies - which represent some of the largest telecommunication network operators and manufacturers - will help bring advanced third generation wireless communications to consumers more quickly, and will help ensure compatibility among different carriers' 3G wireless communications systems - enabling customers to roam internationally with their 3G handsets or other wireless devices. The common work of the world's largest wireless equipment suppliers will also bring important economies of scale for the production of next-generation infrastructure and handsets.
The 3G.IP group plans to set the direction and requirements for the work towards the development of an IP based system for 3G mobile communications technology using W-CDMA and EDGE broadband air interfaces, which are ideally suited to support IP enabled voice and high-speed data transmission for global 3G services. These air interfaces, or "radio access techniques" that determine how a signal is sent from the hand-held device to the base station, will enable operators to provide next generation IP services while efficiently using the radio spectrum. As part of their common vision, the parties will be proposing corresponding standards for multi media handsets that will operate with these access technologies.
Underlying these air interface options is a common core network that allows efficient handling of the multimedia IP based services envisioned for the next millennium. The companies' plans for a common evolved GPRS core network standard, which will fully support advanced IP voice telephony, data and multimedia applications and foresee an evolution from existing circuit switched network topologies, to a network completely based on IP technologies enhanced for wireless and mobile communication. The combination of a common network, harmonized air interfaces and multi-mode terminals will give customers seamless access to 3G IP services around the world, while satisfying the varied needs of each carrier.
The 3G.IP member companies will cooperate closely and share information in the development of standards for advanced communications systems that will meet or exceed all of the requirements for 3G services established by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and regulatory bodies.
The focus group expects that standardization activities related to an all IP based architecture for third generation systems should continue rapidly in the appropriate standard and specification development bodies, and the Group will fully support these standards development processes.
AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. operates the largest digital wireless network in North America providing wireless voice and data communication services using Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology. AT&T Wireless Services is the largest digital carrier in the United States, serving more than 10 million customers. AT&T Wireless is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T Corporation (NYSE:T), a world leader in voice and data communications. More information about AT&T is available at http://www.att.com.
British Telecommunications plc is one of the world's leading providers of telecommunications services. With a market capitalisation in excess of £70 billion, it is one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its principal activity is the supply of local, long distance and international telecommunications services and equipment in the UK, serving 27 million exchange lines. International direct-dialled telephone service is available to more than 200 countries and other overseas territories - covering 99 per cent of the world's 800 million telephones.
Rogers Cantel Inc. is Canada's largest wireless provider serving over two million customers from coast to coast. Marketed under the co-brand Cantel® AT&TTM, Rogers Cantel provides a complete range of wireless solutions including cellular, paging and Interactive Messaging, Digital PCS and wireless data services. Owned and operated by Rogers Cantel Mobile Communications Inc., (TSE: RCM.B; NYSE:RCN), Rogers Cantel is an 81% owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications Inc.
Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with the freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers - network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers - the world over. Please visit Ericsson's Press Room at: http//www.ericsson.se/pressroom
Lucent Technologies supplies mobile and fixed wireless communications systems that offer global service providers standards-based solutions for serving the information needs of consumers and enterprises. Headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., Lucent designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, data networking systems, business telephone systems and microelectronic components. Bell Labs is the research and development arm for the company. For more information on Lucent Technologies, visit the company's web site at http://www.lucent.com.
Nokia is the world's leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed, and IP networks including related services. Nokia also supplies multimedia terminals and computer displays. In 1998, net sales totaled EUR 13.3 billion (USD 15.7 billion). Headquartered in Finland, Nokia is listed on the New York (NOK), Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Frankfurt and Paris stock exchanges, has sales in over 130 countries and employs more than 47 000 people worldwide. For further information contact Arja Suominen at +358-9-511-38193. More information about Nokia is available at http://www.nokia.com
Nortel Networks delivers value to customers around the world through Unified Networks solutions, spanning mission-critical telephony and IP-optimized networks. Customers include public and private enterprises and institutions; Internet service providers; local, long-distance, cellular and PCS communications companies, cable television carriers, and utilities. Nortel Networks' common shares are listed on the New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and London stock exchanges. Nortel Networks had 1998 revenues of US$17.6 billion and has approximately 75,000 employees worldwide. More information about Nortel Networks is available at http://www.nortelnetworks.com. Telenor is the leading telecom, IT and media company in Norway and offers a full range of basic and advanced telecom services. From a strong position in the home market where Telenor has built one of the most modern telecom infrastructures in the world, the company pursues international opportunities in specific areas, such as mobile communication, satellite communication, TV-distribution, Internet services, international telephony and media-related services with current operations in more than 25 countries. Telenor is one of the largest companies in Norway, with more than 20.200 employees. More information at http://www.telenor.com.
TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) is a public limited company of the Telecom Italia Group that operates in the fields of mobile radio services. With 15.4 million clients in Italy (30 April 1999), TIM is the largest mobile telephone services operator in Europe and the third largest in the world by client base. As well as consolidating its position in the domestic market, TIM has developed international business operations in line with the Group's strategy. Thanks to the non-Italian mobile affiliates of the Telecom Italia Group, the number of foreign clients amount to about 7.8 million (31 March 1999). More information about TIM is available at http://www.tim.it.
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