ITU convenes meeting with key standards–setting organizations to fine-tune the final steps to common global IMT-2000 standard

21 September 1999

Geneva –Standards development organizations (SDOs) have responded overwhelmingly to ITU invitation to meet in Geneva, 20-21 September 1999 to discuss implementation of the arrangements between them and ITU for the final preparation of the detailed specifications of radio interface standard for IMT-2000.

Participating in the discussions were senior representatives of the Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) and the Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC) of Japan, the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) of the Republic of Korea, USA’s Telecommunication Industry Association and Committee T1 as well as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

The move follows the decision of participants of the Beijing meeting that ITU be the "one-stop shop" for 3G global standards to ensure that the radio recommendations for IMT-2000 meet industry needs worldwide, making maximum use of the work carried out by other team members through references where appropriate. The process calls for proponents of the different IMT-2000 radio interfaces to submit to ITU information of the detailed specifications under their responsibility in time for final consideration at the next relevant ITU meeting in Helsinki, starting 25 October 1999.

"The fact that five of the six standards development organizations have come here in Geneva shows how seriously we take the matter of achieving the goal of a worldwide standard for third generation mobile communications" said Karl-Heinz Rosenbrock, Director-General of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. "The most important thing is to all agree on something workable as early as possible to meet the market requirements and to safeguard interoperability between all major core networks irrespective of the access method chosen" he added.

He was echoed by Leo Nikkari, Vice-President for Strategy and Industry Relations of the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC), Kyu-Jin Wee who is Chairman of the IMT-2000 Project Group at the TTA, Akio Sasaki, Director of ARIB and Nobihiro Horisaki, Executive Managing Director of TTC who all agreed that the possibility of a convergence between all 3G proposals was now within reach. "It is the first time that the ITU and the regional standards development organizations are working together towards the shared goal of a common global standard for the next generation of mobile communications" said UWCC’s Nikkari.

"The various paths that will lead operators and consumers to IMT-2000 networks and services have been agreed upon and full convergence should be achieved in the longer-term if all players abide by the blueprint agreed within the general framework of the ITU" said Akio Sasaki of ARIB.

The ITU has already received the generic description parts of the SDOs submissions by the agreed deadline of 1 September 1999 concerning the following IMT-2000 terrestrial radio interface specifications: UTRAN W-CDMA by 3GPP, cdma2000 by TIA TR-45.5 (being prepared by 3GPP2), UWC-136 by TIA TR-45.3, TD-SCDMA by CWTS of China and DECT by ETSI Project DECT. The deadline for submission to ITU of the detailed specification parts is 15 October 1999. According to the agreed arrangements, these parts will consist essentially of references to specifications available from the external organizations participating in the IMT-2000 work.

The meeting in ITU discussed important practical matters such as timing harmonization, document formatting, copyright, publication and sales. The purpose was to guarantee that the cooperative working arrangements between ITU and SDOs/3GPPs would effectively and timely produce the expected results for final preparation and updating of the IMT-2000 detailed radio specifications. Specific consideration was given to the necessary conditions to implement the ITU one-stop shop concept for IMT-2000 deliverables.

The meeting agreed on a statement of intent covering publication aspects. Participants applauded the good spirit of international cooperation among the different proponents and reafirmed the need to strenghten the existing cohesion around the ITU’s process leading towards the successful completion of the global IMT-2000 radio interface standard. The understanding that emerged from the meeting is viewed as a key enabler to reaching agreement among all players.

Technical note

The SDOs participating in the Geneva meeting confirmed their compliance with the requirements described in the timeline for the radio interface standard.