The radio transmission technology (RTT) selection process for third generation mobile systems (IMT-2000) is now well under way. New strategies are emerging, following the meeting in May of the Global Standardisation Collaboration Group, which provided further support to the work of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on networking aspects of IMT-2000.

IMT-2000 is an initiative of the International Telecommunication Union: it will provide wireless access to the global telecommunication infrastructure through both satellite and terrestrial systems, serving fixed and mobile users in public and private networks. It is being developed on the basis of the "family of systems" concept, defined as a federation of systems providing IMT-2000 service capabilities to users of all family members in a global roaming offering.

This concept, which was endorsed by all the participating standards bodies, aims at facilitating the evolution from today's regional second generation systems, which are incompatible with one another, towards third generation systems that will provide users with genuine global service capabilities and interoperability soon after the year 2000.

The latest meetings of the ITU groups preparing IMT-2000 radio and network standards attracted some 300 telecoms industry representatives and regulators. Important results were achieved at these meetings in furthering work on IMT-2000. Discussions covered the complex issue of defining additional global frequency spectrum required for IMT-2000 as a result of the formidable development of the mobile communications industry in recent years. The next ITU World Radio communication Conference, WRC 2000, will be tasked with identifying suitable bands for the additional spectrum on the basis of technical studies to be carried out over the next 18 months.

The ITU's 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference identified radio frequency spectrum for IMT-2000 on the basis of the requirements for third...

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