Keep Up at the Back There!

The UMTS Forum has a new report out that says – shock! horror! – wireless LAN hotspot networks won't harm the market for third generation (3G) data systems.

"UMTS/3G and wireless LAN are complementary rather than competitive technologies," says the Forum. "We believe that WLAN will stimulate the overall data services market, to the benefit of all players." You don't say! Unstrung pointed out back in May that WLAN could not be a threat to 3G services in Europe because one of the major reasons for rolling out UMTS there is to increase voice capacity on overloaded networks (see Commentary: Why 2.5G Plus WLAN Doesn't Equal 3G).

Of course, the complex mix of technological and regulatory reasons driving the takeup of UMTS in Europe doesn't necessarily apply in the U.S and Asia. Indeed, continued concerns over the lack of spectrum available stateside may force carriers to look at using WLAN or other high-speed data technologies to offer data services.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung
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