Studies started in year:
 Projects and Studies
What UMTS means to Operators and how we can facilitate its evolution
For further information please contact:

David Kennedy
Project Supervisor
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about

Given the many different groups "defining" UMTS and the openness of the IMT 2000 family concept, what does the UMTS concept really mean to TelCos? If we can identify the concept clearly, what are the positive steps we can take to make UMTS evolve as we envisage it?

There is an emerging consensus in the telecommunications industry that the difference between fixed and mobile telephony, in the terminal mobility sense, is outdated in the context of personal mobility. This consensus has resulted in the emergence of the UMTS standards and the disparity between the ETSI SMG/NA, UMTS Forum, and the rest of the standards groups worldwide all trying to produce "the" UMTS standard. This has been further diluted by the ITU defining their IMT 2000 concept as a family of interworking systems. It is getting hard to see the real UMTS in all of this.

For TelCos, the important issue is to have a clear target system that todays networks can evolve towards and that this target system is sufficiently standardised so that inter-operator inter-network working is efficient and practical. In addition we want to see a high degree of commonality in network components, such as protocols, so that our networks do not become overly complex trying to support UMTS.

The collection of Project Proposals for the EURESCOM Work Programme 1999 has 5 proposals directly related to UMTS:

  • Virtual Home Environment (VHE) support for UMTS
  • Scenarios for integrating Fixed and Mobile Networks
  • Building Global Mobility based on Local Access Networks
  • User Applications Evaluation in a 3rd Generation Mobile Telecommunications System
  • Fixed/Mobile integration: Architectural Studies, network verification methods and tools

These Proposals (Projects?), and their commonalties, highlight the need for a coherent EURESCOM strategy towards UMTS. There is a risk that the generic nature of UMTS could result in impacts on UMTS emerging from just about any Project so some guidance on what to do with EURESCOM ideas about UMTS would benefit Projects.

We need rationalised network elements for UMTS that minimise the investment TelCos have to make to upgrade existing networks to be capable of supporting UMTS. As every Shareholder of EURESCOM is a TelCo, and UMTS is perceived as the "Universal" telecommunications Service, it follows that every EURESCOM Shareholder is likely to be a UMTS operator. Thus any study that helps to optimise the evolution towards UMTS is directly in the operators economic interest. In addition, any coherence in the development of UMTS standards and products is likely to bring price benefits to the buyers of this equipment by allowing more suppliers into the market.


This Study is intended to get a quick snapshot of the state of UMTS for managers and use this image to evaluate and steer what we want to do in EURESCOM. It will have three component parts:

1.  The overview of UMTS today:

  • What groups are standardising what
  • How do the definitions of UMTS differ
  • Is FMC included in this concept
  • Are the conflicts being resolved
  • What is the impact of the "phased" approach
  • Where is the strongest influence
  • How can we contribute?

2.  Development of an operators wish list for UMTS:

  • What do we see as essential in UMTS
  • What additional feature would we like

3.  The assessment of the proposed UMTS related work in EURESCOM in 1999:

  • What will it achieve
  • Are there implications on the EURESCOM Work Programme
  • Who will adopt the result
  • Is it in time?

This Study wil have to cut and paste and summarise a lot of information from different groups in order to do this type of snapshot. It would be greatly facilitated if the participants were members of the different standardisation fora.

Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Planned issue date
The TelCos view of UMTS in 1998 D1 published
A EURESCOM strategic wish list for UMTS D2 published


Project Information
Project Leader and Contractor Code: Geoff Richmann, BT
Project Supervisor: David Kennedy
Project Participants: AF, BT, CH, FT, IT, NT
Project Start Date: 8 October 1998
Project Completion Date: 8 March 1999