ITU study group looks at future of 3G networks

Delegates to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Special Study Group on IMT-2000 (International Mobile Telecommunications 2000) have established its agenda for publishing recommendations for the future development of 3G (third-generation) network standards. The Study Group announced the agenda after completing its first meeting in Geneva last Friday.

The Special Study Group on IMT-2000 and Beyond, which met from Dec. 11 through Dec. 15, was chaired by John Visser of Nortel Networks Corp., the ITU said in a statement. The Study Group, created last October, is one of the 14 Study Groups of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), the ITU said in a statement.

The purpose of the first meeting was to set out the group’s agenda over the next four years as well as target dates for establishing various standards for the IMT-2000 radio specifications, which are set to provide wireless multimedia service capabilities, ITU said.

The group plans to outline the standards for service capability requirements for 3G, including for the Virtual Home Environment by mid-2002. By the end of 2002 it will establish standards on network capabilities, mobility management and interoperability for global roaming among various IMT-2000 networks, ITU said.

The end of 2002 should also see the establishment of standards for interoperability with fixed voice networks and packet data networks, as well as requirements for convergence between fixed networks and IMT-2000, ITU said.

The network architecture and interface requirements for the converged IMT-2000 core network, which includes the technologies CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) and FDMA (Frequency Division Multiple Access), which is used by most point-to-point systems, are on the slate for discussion in early 2003, ITU said. The full architectural and network interface requirements for creating full-service transparency will be hashed out over the following two years, ITU said.

According to the ITU, the Special Study Group’s mandate also includes addressing near-term internetworking based on IP (Internet Protocol) technology as well as setting out a long-term common architecture for IP networks.

The ITU was officially established in January 1934 and has been a specialized agency of the United Nations since October 1947, responsible for overseeing international standards for all forms of communication, by wire, radio, optical systems or other electromagnetic systems, ITU said on its Web site.

The ITU, headquartered in Geneva, can be contacted at Nortel Networks, in Brampton, Ont., can be reached at