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Operators Harmonization Group (OHG) Approves International Charter

24 Wireless Operators Reach Agreement to Advance Globally-Harmonised IMT-2000 Systems

(GENEVA, Switzerland) March 6, 2000 � The founding member companies of the Operators Harmonization Group (OHG), representing a significant percentage of the worldwide wireless industry, today approved an international charter that formalizes the organization�s commitment to promote the rapid development and commercialisation of globally-harmonised IMT-2000 wireless systems and operations. Professor Michael Walker, Technical Executive, Vodafone AirTouch Plc., has been appointed unanimously as the first Chairman of the OHG. Vice-Chairs will be named at a later date representing the Asia/Pacific and the Americas regions, and will be representative of the diversity of technologies under the IMT-2000 umbrella.

The OHG is an informal steering group of wireless operator companies dedicated to promoting 3G harmonization. In June 1999, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) incorporated the OHG harmonization proposals into the IMT-2000 standard for 3G wireless technology.

"This announcement means we can move more quickly towards bringing the benefits of 3G technology to wireless users around the world," said Professor Walker, newly-elected Chair of the Operators Harmonization Group. "Today we are one step closer to the borderless, high-speed, consumer-friendly wireless networks of the future".

The OHG is an operator-driven organisation addressing key technology options within the IMT-2000 system specifications. The harmonisation activities of the OHG, now supported in a formal agreement are expected to bring the following benefits to customers beginning in the year 2001:

  • A transparent customer roaming experience across all IMT-2000 systems on a worldwide basis
  • A broader range of services
  • A wider variety of customer equipment and applications
  • Lower potential handset costs through economies of scale in R&D and manufacturing

The OHG will provide operator direction in harmonisation areas to the appropriate standardisation bodies and other industry organisations. Some of the areas identified by the OHG for further harmonization include an IP core network, voice and video codecs, and virtual home environment (VHE) service.

Harmonised standards will improve the ability of wireless companies to continue to evolve existing wireless services and networks to meet the needs of the industry and consumers in a more efficient manner while delivering enhanced capabilities at lower costs.

Signing members of today�s OHG agreement include: Bell Atlantic Mobile, Bell Mobility, BellSouth Cellular, China Mobile, China Unicom, DACOM, DDI, Hansol M.Com, IDO, Japan Telecom, KDD, Korea Telecom, LG TeleCom, Microcell Connexions, NTT DoCoMo, Omnitel, SingTel, SK Telecom, Sprint PCS, Telefonica Moviles, Telesystem International Wireless, T-Mobil, Vodafone AirTouch, and VoiceStream Wireless.

For more information, contact:

Professor Michael Walker
Vodafone Airtouch Plc
The Courtyard, 2-4 London Road
Newbury, Berkshire RG14 IJX
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1635 673886
Fax: +44 1635 31127

©2000 Third Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2)
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