UMTS - The new standard for mobile communication
It is believed that within the next five years most Europeans will be using mobile communications as part of their everyday lives; for communicating with others, for accessing information services, for leisure and for education. The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) has the potential to provide the wireless access networks for the emerging information society.
The most exciting prospect is the UMTS system due to arrive in Europe around 2002. UMTS or 3G (third generation) will offer video, total internet access (up to 5 times the speed of your home or business connection) and a full range of multimedia services on your mobile. Telecom companies see such promise, they have been competing against each other firstly in the UK 3G auction and more recently in the German 3G auction. Europe has beaten the United States and Asia in the race to the new technology. The reason the companies are outbidding each other is not to sell the relatively simple phones we use today but the prospect of mobile commerce or m-commerce. Various projections put m-commerce sales in the billions of dollars over the next few years.