HOW 3G/UMTS WORKS AND ITS FEATURES, overview of UTMS and how UTMS works?
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  HOW 3G/UMTS WORKS AND ITS FEATURES  Introduction UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) is a third-generation (3G) broadband,   packet- based transmission of text, digitized voice, video, and multimedia at data rates up to 2 megabits per second (Mbps). UMTS offers a consistent set of services to mobile computer and  phone users, no matter where they are located in the world. UMTS is based on the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication standard. It is also endorsed by major standards bodies and manufacturers as the planned standard for mobile users around the world. Once UMTS is fully available, computer and phone users can be constantly attached to the Internet wherever they travel and, as they roam, will have the same set of capabilities. Users will have access through a combination of terrestrial wireless and satellite transmissions. Overview of UMTS   During the fourth quarter of 2006, subscriptions to 3G/UMTS networks reached 100 million worldwide, with more than 3 million new customers signing up to WCDMA-based networks each month. Japan    –    the cradle of 3G/UMTS after NTT DoCoMo’s pioneering launch of its  FOMA mobile multimedia offering in 2001  –   makes the single largest contribution to the global base with some 30 million WCDMA customers. Despite a later debut for fully commercialised WCDMA networks than in Japan, Europe is seeing demand for 3G/UMTS growing strongly. With almost 40 million subscribers bymid-2006, Europe as a whole now outstrips Japan in terms of overall connections. Within Europe, Italy maintains pole position as the largest single country in termsof connections, commanding more than 15 million subscribers  –   or almost a fifth of the world’s entire WCDMA  base. EMTEL Ltd , the second largest mobile telecommunications company in Mauritius , has established the first commercial Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS) 3G network in Africa (the first test call was made on 16 October 2004). Full commercial services  began in November 2004, making this the first commercial African 3G network.  How UMTS works:   Voice, images, data, and video are first converted to a narrowband digital radio signal. The signal is assigned a marker (spreading code) to distinguish it from the signal of other users. UMTS uses variable rate techniques in digital processing and it can achieve multi-rate transmissions.   Over 100 mobile phones (voice) and many more data devices can simultaneously share a single 5-MHz bandwidth radio carrier channel for voice or data communications using the  WCDMA  radio structure. This is accomplished by using different codes on the radio channel. The system includes many of the same basic subsystems as second generation (2G), with some switching function enhancements. There are three basic parts to the UMTS system: user equipment (UE), UMTS terrestrial access network (UTRAN) and the core system network. There are two types of UMTS systems: frequency division duplex (FDD) wideband code division multiple access (FDD/ WCDMA ) and time division duplex (TDD) wideband code division multiple access (TDD/ WCDMA ). FDD/ WCDMA  uses two frequencies to allow for separate transmission and reception on two different frequencies. TDD/ WCDMA  allows for duplex transmission on the same frequency by assigning different time slots in a single frame for transmission and reception. The systems are designed to be backward compatible with other established cellular systems; allowing the gradual transition between legacy systems such as GSM and the advanced UMTS system.  The earliest offerings struggled to capture cus tomers’ imaginations, current  handsets score strongly on battery life, size, weight and functionality against their 2G peers. In parallel with this, ‘must - have’ services like mobile TV and music  downloads are encouraging consumers to opt for 3G/UMTS when they make their mobile purchasing decisions. 3G vs. 2G: Average terminal weight is converging rapidly   250   200           (      g        )      W  e   i  g   h   t   150      3   G   D  e  v   i  c  e  s 100   2G Average Weight 85g   50   0         F     e      b   -      0      5      M     a     r   -      0      5      A     p     r   -      0      5      M     a     y   -      0      5       n - F - r - r - y - u n - u l - u - -        M    a    y   -     0     4           J u n - 0 4 J u l - 0 4 A u g - 0 4 S e p - 0 4 c t - 0 4 N o v - 0 4 D e c - 0 4 J a n - 0 5          J - J l - A - e - t - v - e -   Source: Credit Suisse  3G/UMTS has given manufacturers ample opportunity to engineer a new generation of highly-specified multimedia smartphones, loading their handsets with premium features that would be either impractical or hard to justify on a GSM phone. Fast USB and WiFi connectivity are becoming increasingly commonplace alongside multi-megapixel cameras with quality branded optics, large amounts of removable storage and high-resolution screens with a palette of a quarter of a million colours or more. With 3G, device manufacturers have been able to stretch traditional notions of what functionality a mobile phone should offer  –    and today’s offerings are the surest signs yet of PC/mobile convergence   becoming reality. One area where latest generation terminals are almost unrecognisable from their  peers of just a few years ago is storage capacity. High-capacity hard disk drives holding several gigabytes of data underline the credentials of these devices as fully-fledged multimedia appliances. Slots or removable media are also becoming commonplace, allowing customers to store gigabytes worth of pictures, videos and music on compact flash, memory stick and other formats.
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