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Thread: World Standard around the corner

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    World Standard around the corner

    http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/s...leID=189800077

    TOKYO — Seven mobile phone operators are forming an industry organization to create a 4G mobile phone network standard that would complement the work of existing standards groups.

    The initiative called Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) was founded by KPN Mobile, Orange, Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile International and Vodafone. China Mobile and NTT Docomo Inc. have also joined.

    The initiative plans to establish a nonprofit company in the U.K. by the end of July that would develop an integrated network for fourth-generation mobile phones, enabling operators to provide network services. It is targeting 2010 for delivering commercial services.

    The group, tentatively named NGMN Ltd., will submit requests for functionality and performance to standardization bodies so that 4G mobile standards reflect its recommendations.
    Im surprised this is happening so quickly. I had no doubt standards would eventually merge together, but I didn't picture it for another 10 years or so. This is so much better for the consumers. it quite possibly could end the era of contracts. Once manufactures start producing phones that will work on any network, then they can start selling them outside the carriers themselves (much like how current landlines phones are sold). I don't think the carriers want to let go of the current marketing stratagy of controlling the handsets. The manufactures will have to push for this to happen.
    Last edited by thespaceghost; 06-30-2006 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thespaceghost
    http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/s...leID=189800077



    Im surprised this is happening so quickly. I had no doubt standards would eventually merge together, but I didn't picture it for another 10 years or so. This is so much better for the consumers. it quite possibly could end the era of contracts. Once manufactures start producing phones that will work on any network, then they can start selling them outside the carriers themselves (much like how current landlines phones are sold). I don't think the carriers want to let go of the current marketing stratagy of controlling the handsets. The manufactures will have to push for this to happen.
    This has already happened -- a long time ago. That's exactly why SIM cards were developed, to separate the marketing of service and handsets, and that's exactly why the GSM and UMTS standards were developed and mandated, so that people could switch providers without having to buy a new handset. The GSM and UMTS standards ARE "world" standards. 75% of the world adopted the 900/1800 frequency plan for GSM. With the IMT-2000 conference in 2000, the adoption rate was moved close to 100%, as previously non-conforming countries, such as Korea, Japan and the USA agreed to harmonise their spectrum plans. Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, Japan and Korea implemented the new spectrum plan immediately. Brazil and India took a little longer, but they are now fully committed to compliance. The USA and Canada are still behind, but the USA is moving towards compliance with the planned auction of the UMTS band, presumably in August. Yes, they still have to find a way to deal with the 1900 mhz issue, and India, Brazil and a few other places are still in the process of awarding 3G spectrum (Russia, South Africa) but it won't be long before you will be able to use the same handset almost everywhere.

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    I think UMTS was planned as world standard - which is why the U stands for Universal. However, in reality it is not universal. However well intentioned any move for 4G being universal is, it may well end up like UMTS - not forgetting, in the '4G era' there may be a messy patchwork of different, complementary technologies (eg. you could use Bluetooth in your home and WiMax when you're out an about - you can kinda do this now but it is not really seamless yet. you can see a demo at http://www1.orange.co.uk/lovesomething/ - click 'the future' and then 'begin one phone demo').

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    well, technically, UMTS was to be used for cellular service in the 2100 andwidth allocation. I believe that in order to decrease confusion over CDMA2k and WCMDA, WCDMA has taken on the name UMTS. THough in its original iteration, UMTS only referred to 2100 mHz

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    Quote Originally Posted by 100thMonkey
    well, technically, UMTS was to be used for cellular service in the 2100 andwidth allocation. I believe that in order to decrease confusion over CDMA2k and WCMDA, WCDMA has taken on the name UMTS. THough in its original iteration, UMTS only referred to 2100 mHz
    All 5 approved 3G technologies have been designated the 1900/2100MHz band -- UMTS, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, and the other 2 everyone has already forgotten about. The ITU agreed that members would be free to choose whichever technology of the 5 they wanted to deploy, but all would use the same spectrum.

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    I'm beginning to lose interest in the search for the "final solution" to the wireless compatibility issue. Just about every country in the world now has some form of GSM or WCDMA-2100. A tri-band GSM + WCDMA-2100 handset provides essential communications almost every place I go. If you back that up with a quad-band handset the only other thing you could need is an Iridium handset for global coverage. That's good enough. I'm not exactly sure what valuable new services 4G will provide that 3G doesn't. AFAIK, 3G's "valuable new services" over 2G have not exactly wowed the general public. I was in a store the other day and took some pictures of some items on sale and e-mailed them to my sister. That's about the first time I've actually made serious use of the camera on my phone. So you can tell how essential I that type of thing is to me. What I'm looking for is a voice link and a thin little data pipe, just enough for e-mail is fine. After that, it just becomes too much to keep track of.
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb
    I'm beginning to lose interest in the search for the "final solution" to the wireless compatibility issue. Just about every country in the world now has some form of GSM or WCDMA-2100. A tri-band GSM + WCDMA-2100 handset provides essential communications almost every place I go. If you back that up with a quad-band handset the only other thing you could need is an Iridium handset for global coverage. That's good enough. I'm not exactly sure what valuable new services 4G will provide that 3G doesn't. AFAIK, 3G's "valuable new services" over 2G have not exactly wowed the general public. I was in a store the other day and took some pictures of some items on sale and e-mailed them to my sister. That's about the first time I've actually made serious use of the camera on my phone. So you can tell how essential I that type of thing is to me. What I'm looking for is a voice link and a thin little data pipe, just enough for e-mail is fine. After that, it just becomes too much to keep track of.
    Next phone I get will be QUAD band plus WCDMA. The idea behind so-called "4G" is that you will be able to move seamlessly from WiFi to WiMax to WCDMA to EDGE to GPRS as you move from hot-spots to urban areas to rural areas to less developed markets. Coupled with VPN, your lap-top and your telephone presumably would act the same in your office as it would on a remote project site. You would still have access to your network folders and your exchange server on your computer, and your phone would still be connected to the PBX and colleagues would just dial your extension number to reach you. It's all technically possible, and I do think customers would value such a thing, despite all the people like you who now say "I don't need all that stuff". The question is are the operators going to be willing to deliver this, or are they still wedded to the idea of selling "long distance" and "roaming", two concepts that are pure artificial pricing constructs designed to squeeze more out of users, but which have no relation to the cost of providing service?

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    Quadband GSM/EDGE + Triband HSDPA --> HTC TyTN ;-)
    Now that is a world phone lol :-) (if you need boonie coverage get an iridium) :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by polonius
    The question is are the operators going to be willing to deliver this, or are they still wedded to the idea of selling "long distance" and "roaming",
    Operators are as desperate to lock the customer into their proprietary "solutions" as the computer manufacturers of the '70s & '80s were to keep their customers "loyal" by letting nothing 3rd party into their machines. Everything they do is oriented toward holding onto revenue. Since this seems to be a DoCoMo (the worst monopolist ever) driven initiative I hardly see how it can be aimed at giving the customers more freedom of choice and power over the carriers.

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    There are interesting comments here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06..._quadplay_war/ and here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06...nvergence_war/ about mobile companies trying to reduce the revenues of fixed line operators... in a competitive marketplace, as soon as one company starts offering VoIP over mobile others will too. In the UK, BT has started as it spu off it's mobile network which rebranded to O2 - creating it's Fusion service, which let's you use BT's MVNO on the move but use the same phone for VoIP (charged at regular landline rates) at home over bluetooth is a way of fighting the operators. Orange doesn't have any fixed line presense in the UK, but has a broadband one since it bought Freeserve - so offering VoIP through One Phone (another mobile whilst out and about but cordless VoIP phone once you're at home, with the same number) will allow them to break into the landline market. For both of these I think you need each respective companies broadband, so it's a way of you buying more from them. NTL (cable company but with much smaller reach than BT) has bought VirginMobile so it can offer a quadrouple play package, and may well introduce a landline/mobile phone hybrid (it has yet to rebrand under the Virgin brand as its customer service is too poor - this will have to be sorted before quadrouple play is offered). Once these products mature a little bit, it is likely other networks will have to copy them. T-Mobile has its hotspot WiFi infrastructure, and handsets with built in WiFi are already out, so mobile VoIP may well come soon.

    It will take time, but eventually will happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb
    Operators are as desperate to lock the customer into their proprietary "solutions" as the computer manufacturers of the '70s & '80s were to keep their customers "loyal" by letting nothing 3rd party into their machines. Everything they do is oriented toward holding onto revenue. Since this seems to be a DoCoMo (the worst monopolist ever) driven initiative I hardly see how it can be aimed at giving the customers more freedom of choice and power over the carriers.
    Agreed -- the whole thing smells fishy -- when companies like that get together, it usually isn't to think up ways they can widen consumer choice. Note that SprintNextel is also involved, another company whose strategy has long been to try to lock customers into proprietary solutions (hence their policy when they were GSM of refusing to sell you a SIM unless you also bought one of their locked phones and their subsequent decision to drop GSM altogether). However, although I generally agree with you about DoCoMo, don't forget that iMode is an example of the kind of success you can enjoy when you bring third-parties into the equation on reasonable terms. But I am generally optimistic, as I don't believe efforts to restrict choice can be successful in the long run -- we already saw that movie in the battle between AOL's walled garden approach to content and the open internet. AOL never had a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoofish
    There are interesting comments here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06..._quadplay_war/ and here http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06...nvergence_war/ about mobile companies trying to reduce the revenues of fixed line operators... in a competitive marketplace, as soon as one company starts offering VoIP over mobile others will too. In the UK, BT has started as it spu off it's mobile network which rebranded to O2 - creating it's Fusion service, which let's you use BT's MVNO on the move but use the same phone for VoIP (charged at regular landline rates) at home over bluetooth is a way of fighting the operators. Orange doesn't have any fixed line presense in the UK, but has a broadband one since it bought Freeserve - so offering VoIP through One Phone (another mobile whilst out and about but cordless VoIP phone once you're at home, with the same number) will allow them to break into the landline market. For both of these I think you need each respective companies broadband, so it's a way of you buying more from them. NTL (cable company but with much smaller reach than BT) has bought VirginMobile so it can offer a quadrouple play package, and may well introduce a landline/mobile phone hybrid (it has yet to rebrand under the Virgin brand as its customer service is too poor - this will have to be sorted before quadrouple play is offered). Once these products mature a little bit, it is likely other networks will have to copy them. T-Mobile has its hotspot WiFi infrastructure, and handsets with built in WiFi are already out, so mobile VoIP may well come soon.

    It will take time, but eventually will happen.
    I have no doubt the quadruple play is the way of the future, and the mobile operators are finally waking up to that as well. In the past, the quadruple play generally meant a cable or fixed line operator setting up a branding MVNO, e.g., the fixed line guys moving into the mobile space. Now the mobile operators -- who have for years been taking an approach of ignoring fixed line and thinking of it as a technology whose time has come and gone, and encouraging customers to drop their fixed lines altogether -- are suddenly waking up to the quad play game and acquiring fixed line and cable providers. One effect WILL be to drive down so called "long distance" rates, as once people start buy both fixed and mobile from the same company, and that company is offering calls to Brazil (so you console fans about their loss ) for 3c from the fixed line, they aren't going to be able to continue charging 1 dollar or more for the same call from the mobile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by polonius
    I have no doubt the quadruple play is the way of the future, and the mobile operators are finally waking up to that as well.

    There is an interesting article about just that in the Economist http://www.economist.com/displaystor...ory_id=7013391

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    Quote Originally Posted by polonius
    However, although I generally agree with you about DoCoMo, don't forget that iMode is an example of the kind of success you can enjoy when you bring third-parties into the equation on reasonable terms. But I am generally optimistic, as I don't believe efforts to restrict choice can be successful in the long run -- we already saw that movie in the battle between AOL's walled garden approach to content and the open internet. AOL never had a chance.
    Remember docomo's imode is basically the same as qualcomm's brew --- they have their own universe in which ORDERLY revenue splitting has been agreed beforehand.

    The software developer gets a cut. The content provider gets a cut. The game developer gets a cut. But most importantly, it only works when docomo and qualcomm gets a cut of the revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samab
    Remember docomo's imode is basically the same as qualcomm's brew --- they have their own universe in which ORDERLY revenue splitting has been agreed beforehand.

    The software developer gets a cut. The content provider gets a cut. The game developer gets a cut. But most importantly, it only works when docomo and qualcomm gets a cut of the revenue.

    iMode works because DoCoMo takes a very SMALL cut

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