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IMT-Advanced (4G) mobile wireless broadband “on the anvil” says ITU

IMT-Advanced is now being predicted by the ITU to “revolutionise mobile communication.” At present, six proposals have been submitted to the ITU by those wishing to claim their technology as true 4G...

ITU has received six candidate technology submissions for the global 4G mobile wireless broadband technology known as IMT-Advanced. The selected technologies are expected to be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced - to qualify as true 4G technologies - in October 2010. The submissions were made in Dresden, Germany at the meeting of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Working Party 5D and are responses to an open invitation in March 2008.

The six proposals, aligned around both the 3GPP LTE Release 10 and beyond (LTE-Advanced) technology and the IEEE 802.16m technology, will be assessed against ITU-R requirements using a defined evaluation process. This rigorous assessment over the next year will be supported by the work of independent external evaluation groups that have been established around the world and will take place under the direction of ITU-R Working Party 5D.

In conjunction with the Dresden meeting, the third Workshop on IMT-Advanced provided an opportunity to technology proponents and evaluation groups to interact. As a jump-start to the assessment phase, fourteen evaluation groups registered with ITU-R, representing the whole gamut of stakeholders, including equipment manufacturers, technology developers, network operators and service providers, market and user organisations, universities, research institutions and national administrations.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré expressed his appreciation for this worldwide effort. "We note with excitement that the technology developments in wireless communication continue to expand their reach and application to enrich the lives of people around the world...ITU has a rich history of more than 25 years in coordinating and advancing global broadband multimedia international mobile telecommunications systems. IMT-Advanced continues this tradition by not only leading with a strategic vision, but also in translating the vision into practical reality in this challenging ICT environment."

Valery Timofeev, Director of ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, congratulated all the players from government, regulators and industry who have been actively involved in the evaluation process of IMT-Advanced for successfully reaching this important milestone in the choice of radio interface technology.

Stephen Blust, Director of Radio Standards at AT&T and Chairman of Working Party 5D, offers this viewpoint: "In 2002 when the strategic vision for 4G — which we designated as IMT-Advanced — was laid out in anticipation of the longer term future needs of the marketplace, it established a new level of expectation for the capabilities and performance of global mobile wireless broadband systems that many thought at the time was something that could not be reached in this decade. When ITU-R established the detailed performance requirements of IMT-Advanced in 2008, it truly raised the bar for mobile wireless. It is gratifying to note that the stakeholders in the mobile wireless industry have risen to the challenge. And we have every expectation that with these proposals the vision can indeed be achieved in the near term."

The close partnership between the ITU-R members and the global wireless industry in the work on IMT-Advanced builds upon the success of the ITU-defined IMT-2000 system (3G) that continues to be enhanced following the demands of the marketplace.

A layman’s perspective of the IMT-Advanced process and plan written by Dr Stephen Blust can be found on the ITU website.

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