NGMN Alliance Updates

Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance defines roadmap for 2008

November 15, 2007

4 Min Read

FRANKFURT, Germany -- The NGMN Alliance has concluded its first finan­cial year and has defined its roadmap for 2008. All partners of the NGMN Alliance recently met in a forum in New York to jointly review the achievements of the last financial year and agree on the NGMN roadmap for 2008. The purpose of this forum was to ensure that the vision of the NGMN Alli­ance, namely, realisation of the global mobile information society with its many benefits for the end users, is on track. The accomplishments of the past year include agreement on a new IPR regime, clarifying the spectrum requirements for the next generation of mobile networks, initiation of trials for various candidate technologies, and continued contributions to standards development organisations. The 2008 roadmap of the NGMN Alliance emphasises the need for the finalisation of the relevant standards, focuses on developing the required elements of the ecosystem and on getting results from technology evaluation studies and validation trials.

The NGMN Alliance grew significantly during the summer of 2007 following a ground-breaking agree­ment on a new IPR regime when 10 major telecom, IT and semiconductor vendors joined in. In addi­tion, during October and November 2007, 7 further partners joined the NGMN Alliance, Telenor as a new Member and Datang Mobile, Sony Ericsson, NXP Semiconductors, Anritsu, Cetecom and IPWireless as new Sponsors. With these new partners the NGMN Alliance has grown to 14 Mem­bers, 23 Sponsors and 2 Advisors. Furthermore, NGMN underscores the importance of the North American region for NGMN through the election of Ms. Kris Rinne, Senior Vice President for Archi­tecture & Planning at AT&T, as a new NGMN Board Member.

In August 2007, the NGMN Alliance issued a White Paper on the spectrum requirements for the next generation of mobile networks. This White Paper is used as the basis of a joint industry effort to ob­tain additional spectrum for IMT-2000 and IMT-Advanced technologies during and after the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 (WRC-07). In particular, NGMN calls for additional spectrum for mobile broadband communications in the UHF band (470 to 806/862 MHz) and in the range above 2.2 GHz. To maximise the probability of success, the NGMN Alliance has actively supported the GSM Association during WRC-07 in Geneva. At a joint GSMA / NGMN Welcome Reception on 23rd October 2007, Mr. Vivek Badrinath, Executive Vice President for IT Networks and Product Support of France Telecom (Orange), gave a Keynote Speech on behalf of NGMN where he stressed the importance of sufficient and globally harmonised spectrum allocations for the further development of the mobile broadband ecosystem: “To continue to offer benefits to users and societies, the mobile communica­tion industry requires continued availability of radio spectrum in sufficient quantity. It is vital – for the continued success of mobile, and to extend and grow its benefits – that new spectrum is allocated for mobile access at WRC-07”.

Noting the importance of technology in realising its vision, the NGMN Alliance, through its Trial Group, has initiated close cooperation with the existing LTE/SAE Trial Initiative and with WiMAX trial efforts led by NGMN Member Sprint Nextel along with several NGMN Sponsors. Furthermore, NGMN is closely monitoring the ongoing UMB developments. The Trial Group will ensure a coordinated approach for the evaluation of field trial results of different technologies with regards to performance and functionality. In 2008, the NGMN Alliance will provide its guidance on the NGMN-preferred tech­nology candidate(s) following an assessment against the NGMN performance, functional and timeline requirements.

For 2008, the NGMN Alliance and its partners are committed to continuing their contributions to vari­ous standards development organisations so that all relevant standards are finalised by the end of 2008. In addition, test specifications for the relevant technologies are also expected to be finalised by the same time. Finally, the NGMN Alliance intends to provide additional focus and resources to the development of its ecosystem including appropriate chipsets, terminals, and network infrastructure. In a 3-day workshop dedicated to chipsets and terminals at the end of September 2007, the NGMN partners discussed the key technical challenges and concluded that data cards and handsets for the next generation of mobile networks can be expected to be commercially available in 2010 or earlier.

These points were emphasised by Mr. Hamid Akhavan, Chairman of NGMN Ltd. and CEO of T-Mobile International during the recent NGMN Forum and Board meeting in New York: “To enable early NGMN launches it is important to progress technology evaluation and finalise the relevant stan­dards by 2008. NGMN needs to secure timely availability of devices and also transparency of IPR terms. Mobile broadband is a reality as can be seen through the many-fold increase of mobile data traffic last year.”

Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN)

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