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Top operators and vendors create alliance to share key learnings from global deployments, set future requirements, and move the UMTS TDD standard forward

Cannes, France, Feb 25, 2004 -- A new alliance was launched today at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes to accelerate the growing success of UMTS TDD as the leading standard for delivering wide-area wireless broadband and other high-speed packet based services. The Global UMTS TDD Alliance has been founded by members of the UMTS TDD community, including both operators and vendors from around the world, and is sanctioned by the GSM Alliance. The UMTS TDD Alliance will provide a forum for members to share their learnings and set requirements for future solutions, as well as to foster the market environment for solutions based on the UMTS TDD standard.

Specific goals of the Alliance are to:
- Create greater awareness of UMTS TDD technology as the leading standard for mobile broadband and other high-speed packet based services in the market
- Offer a forum for information sharing among members
- Support collaborative technology development , interoperability testing, and certification
- Educate the market about the many successful reference cases and sensible economics of UMTS TDD deployments
- Provide a resource for information on TDD solutions

One of the primary drivers for the creation of the alliance was the demand from operators in all stages of deployment for both technical and marketing insights from those operators that have already launched commercial networks. Among the founding members of the Global UMTS TDD Alliance are 18 operators from five continents, including: Airdata (Germany), AtlasOne (Malaysia), IPMobile (Japan), IQ Networks (Australia), Kite Networks (United States), Mobicom (Mongolia), Net2Cell (Ireland), Nextwave Telecom (US), Sentech (South Africa), Softbank BB (Japan), SonaeCom (Portugal), Aksoran (Kazakhstan), and Woosh Wireless (New Zealand).

Another key driver for forming the alliance is the growing number of vendors developing UMTS TDD network solutions, services, or devices to meet operator requirements. Vendors participating in the forum include Andrew Corporation, Axcera, Fastcomm, InCode Telecom, IPWireless, MRiC, Possio, Samsung, and UTStarcom. Also joining the group as technical advisors are Professor Masao Nakagawa and Professor Riaz Esmailzadeh from Keio University in Japan, early pioneers in the development of TD-CDMA.

Here’s what some of our members have to say:
“As GSM was a revolution for voice services, we believe that TDD is the revolution for broadband data service” said Christian Irmler, CTO, Airdata.

"Now Portugal can rest assured that it is not alone on this quest for Wireless Broadband. With this Alliance, knowledge will be easily spread among those who will make this vision a reality. This is the only way to guarantee success in the development of UMTS TDD," said Rui Monteiro, Senior Product Manager, SonaeCom.

"Axcera is very excited to be a founding member of the UMTS TDD Alliance. We believe that the TDD version of the UMTS standard represents the most powerful and flexible architecture for the emerging wireless wide area IP networks. The Alliance is an important resource that will promote advancement, awareness, and industry collaboration to ensure that maximum benefit is derived from this superior technology," said David Neff, CEO, Axcera.

“The creation of this Alliance bridges the digital divide in South Africa and the African continent far more quickly than we previously envisioned,” said Winston Smith, Product Manager Wireless Broadband, Sentech.

“We look forward to being involved in this Alliance – not only to benefit from global experience with TDD – but also so that our customers will enjoy multiple benefits from UMTS TDD while roaming globally,” said Bob Smith, CEO, Woosh Wireless.

“The launch of this Alliance harnesses tremendous energy from a dynamic group of operators and vendors that have already committed to UMTS TDD,” said Chris Gilbert, CEO, IPWireless.

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The worlds of communications, computing and consumer electronics continue to converge on high-speed digital packet based networks. Individuals are migrating from dial-up to broadband and replacing their desktops with laptops and PDAs, underscoring the desire for speed, convenience and flexibility. These significant trends in telecommunications and technology result in the need for a ubiquitous, very high-speed, low-latency, packet-based platform to provide affordable broadband and other IP services to users at home, at work, or on the road.

The first standards-based platform that meets this demand with proven the most real-world traction is the TDD variant of the 3G UMTS standard, UMTS Time-Division Duplexing (TDD) or UMTS TDD, which is also known as TD-CDMA. First defined by the 3rd Generation Project Partnership (3GPP) in Release 99, the standard continues to evolve and move forward in the later releases based on input from operators and vendors. Like the better-known variant of the UMTS standard, WCDMA, which uses Frequency Division (FDD), UMTS TDD supports full mobility, wide area indoor coverage, USIM authentication, and other advanced mobile standard features. But unlike WCDMA, which uses paired spectrum to transmit voice and data, UMTS TDD was designed to work in the unpaired 3G frequencies that have been licensed in many countries across Europe and Asia. In fact, more than 120 of the world’s largest mobile operators have spectrum dedicated for the technology. UMTS TDD Systems have also been rebanded to work in other spectrum bands typically used for broadband wireless.

One of the most significant benefits of using UMTS TDD for packet based applications is its support of variable asymmetry, meaning an operator can dictate how much capacity is allocated to downlink versus uplink. As the traffic patterns for data typically heavily favor the downlink, this results in better use of spectrum assets and higher efficiency. Users also statistically share the air interface in a very efficient manner, and the standard also supports many signal processing techniques that allow the system to get better throughput further from the cell site. UMTS TDD Systems have proven capable of meeting the primary requirements of operators looking to build business models based on wireless broadband and mobile broadband in ways that other newly developed standards are years away from.

The UMTS TDD alliance operates a website at, and is actively recruiting members.

Liz Kerton
Alliance Director
The Global UMTS TDD Alliance

Joanna Lane
Brodeur Worldwide
Tel: 020 7298 7053

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