Enhanced IMT-2000 specifications for improved data performance approved and technical framework for global circulation of terminals agreed in Tokyo

Geneva, 25 October 2001 — Over 250 delegates representing 32 countries from around the world converged in Tokyo to experience the reality of 3G and agree on key factors for IMT-2000 ongoing success. At the 6th meeting of ITU-R Working Party 8F held from 10 to 16 October, the world’s wireless industry, in partnership with the standards development organizations, approved the first revision to the set of terrestrial radio interface specifications for IMT-2000 and agreed on the technical framework that will enable people to travel and use their 3G terminal anywhere in the world.

The meeting adopted several key enhancements across the range of 3G technologies. Responding to the vision of a data-centric world, the addition of high-speed packet-based radio capabilities to the IMT-2000 radio specifications will allow operators to more effectively provision their networks and more closely tailor their systems to the dynamic needs of users as the 3G market matures.

This revision of the IMT-2000 radio interface specifications builds upon the solid base established in the approval of the initial IMT-2000 standard. This evolutionary approach provides a forward-looking response to the increasing needs of the marketplace for wireless communications.

"WP 8F builds upon the foundation specifications of IMT-2000 released in early 2000. Our work with industry and administrations around the world to evolve IMT-2000 is a continuing process focussed on making sure that 3G is truly global wireless, while maintaining relevancy to local market needs. Our focus is bringing a full spectrum of innovative services to all users" says Stephen Blust, Chairman of WP 8F.

In the area of global circulation of IMT-2000 terminals, the ITU meeting in Tokyo achieved remarkable results in bringing to a successful conclusion the difficult negotiations among regulatory authorities, wireless operators and manufacturers to agree on the technical basis of the international framework, which will facilitate the global circulation of IMT-2000 terminals making global roaming a reality.

Discussions also progressed substantially on frequency arrangements to harmonize the different spectrum available globally for IMT-2000 and advanced ITU’s vision for systems beyond IMT-2000, which will serve as the international roadmap to guide the industry towards on-going enhancements of 3G systems.

ITU Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi congratulated Japan and the Republic of Korea for their leading role in bringing to life the first IMT-2000 networks. "The huge sums of money that operators were prepared to invest in obtaining licences show the degree of confidence in the technology and the potential market demand" Utsumi said. "Now that the first IMT-2000 systems are being deployed and 3G services and applications offered to the public, demand for wireless multimedia development is likely to be on a growth curve for the next 10 years ahead", he added, concluding "IMT-2000 shows how the ITU can effectively contribute to addressing the needs of the emerging wireless Global Information Society."

The ITU-R meeting coincided with the inaugural launch in Tokyo area of NTT DoCoMo 3G commercial service branded FOMA (Freedom Of Mobile multimedia Access) on 1 October 2001, based on ITU IMT-2000 standards for W-CDMA.

Delegates at the Tokyo meeting experienced the excitement of one of the first commercial IMT-2000 systems, bringing home the message of data, multimedia, and the rich world of services that complement voice communications.

In his welcome address to the participants, NTT DoCoMo’s Chief Executive, Mr Keiji Tachikawa, said that the migration from second-generation to third will revolutionize telecommunications putting the highest risk-taking on the first to launch the new technology. "But the high confidence of NTT DoCoMo in wireless multimedia and its evolution is such that we are already in search for additional spectrum." In October 2000, SK Telecom of the Republic of Korea had started a 3G commercial service, based on ITU IMT-2000 standards for cdma2000.


For the global circulation of IMT-2000 terminals, the technical requirements to which terminals will have to comply address guidelines on procedural issues such as the "receive-before-transmit" principle as well as technical limits for out-of-band and spurious emissions. The "receive-before-transmit" principle provides for a terminal not to transmit before it has received the signal from a valid network with which it can communicate. This principle aims at preserving the integrity of the network by not giving rise to harmful interference in any country where the terminal is used. The need for network operators to identify the type of terminal equipment connected to their networks based on the unique electronic equipment identity information was also agreed.