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3G/HSPA

Ultra Mobile Spec Out

3:40 PM -- The 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) today published the Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) air interface specification -- the technology intended to catapult CDMA into the broadband future of fourth generation (4G) wireless networks.

UMB is the marketing name for the forthcoming CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision C (Rev. C) standard. UMB is expected to have the ability to support peak download speeds as high as 280 Mbit/s in a mobile environment. The technology, however, is unlikely to be commercially available until sometime in 2009.(See Yay! More Acronyms!.)

This is causing some readers to question if UMB is too little, too late. They have a point, the battle lines for which technologies will become 4G are already largely drawn. Currently, it's between mobile WiMax and the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard. (See Verizon, Vodafone Head for LTE.)

Is there room for a third 4G technology? An 'iDen' of mobile broadband if you like. I can't say for sure yet, but it seems the field is starting to narrow already.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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