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UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System

UMTS is the European member of the IMT2000 family of third generation cellular mobile standards. The goal of UMTS is to enable networks that offer true global roaming and can support a wide range of voice, data and multimedia services. Data rates offered by UMTS are: vehicular - 144 kbit/s; pedestrian 384 kbit/s; in-building 2Mb/s.

These new 3G networks will build on the success of GSM, and on the GSM operators - existing investment in infrastructure. The first stage of service and network evolution is from today's GSM systems, through the implementation of GPRS, to commercial UMTS networks expected from 2001.

Many of the original goals of UMTS are being met by the evolving GSM standard such as global roaming and personalized service features. The major differentiators of UMTS are: a new air interface operating at around 2GHz which will offer superior performance to GSM in terms of higher data rates and capacity, and a packet-based network architecture which supports both voice and data services.

UMTS - Inside the Technology

UMTS is basically composed of W-CDMA, TD-CDMA, or TD-SCDMA air interfaces, GSM's Mobile Application Part (MAP) core, and the GSM codecs. Over W-CDMA, UMTS uses 5 MHz channels, completely in a different zone than the competition such as CDMA2000 which uses 1.25 MHz.

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