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UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunication Services)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

UMTS is an ETSI standard for third-generation GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications). According to the Mobile Lifestreams Web site listed on the related entries page, "UMTS is Europe's vision for 3G and a very powerful one too for mobile multimedia." UMTS can be viewed as a mobile Internet scheme.

The radio access technology is called UTRA (UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access), and is based on W-CDMA. UTRA has two different modes: FDD (frequency duplex division) and TDD (time duplex division). These modes allow the system to work well in wide areas, tight urban areas, or indoors. Transmission rates can go as high as 2 Mbits/sec for stationary users in small cells.

UMTS is designed to meet the requirements of IMT-2000, which is basically a target standard for providing data rates as high as 2Mbits/sec. IMT-2000 was outlined by the ITU and the mobile communications industry. The name refers to the data rate, not the year.

The ITU's intentions are to make IMT-2000 a global framework for wireless communications across satellite and terrestrial systems for mobile and stationary users. Users will be able to move across geographic areas and service provider systems with any IMT-2000 device.

See "Wireless Mobile Communications" for a continuation of this topic and related wireless mobile topics.

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