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BellSouth Supports Harmonization Agreements For Third-Generation Wireless Standards.

ATLANTA, June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) today announced its support for recent third-generation (3G) harmonization activities surrounding CDMA and TDMA digital wireless technologies. BellSouth participated in the recent Operator's Harmonization Group (OHG) meetings that resulted in a consensus for a harmonized 3G CDMA standard with three optional modes. Concurrently, BellSouth has also taken a leadership role in development activities for TDMA, especially with the development of EDGE, a 3G technology for TDMA and GSM operators.

The continued standardization work builds upon a February statement from the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue and the March decision of the International Telecommunication Union that proposes a 3G family of standards that included a CDMA standard with three modes of operation and a TDMA standard.

"As a systems operator employing the three major second-generation digital technologies, BellSouth sees the industry cooperation and collaboration on 3G standards as a benefit to service providers, our customers and equipment vendors," said Keith Radousky, Director of Engineering for BellSouth Cellular Corp. "This standards development work has focused on maximizing our ability to deliver 3G service capabilities to our customers in the future, while fully utilizing our existing wireless networks."

"The success of the harmonization activities and the continued development of standards are a validation of an industry-led standardization process in which governments do not 'pick winners' but rather create a level playing field and allow the marketplace to make technology choices," said Frank Urbany, Vice President, International, BellSouth D.C., Inc.

As a result of recent meetings in Toronto, the OHG reached a consensus on a harmonized global CDMA standards framework for 3G wireless systems. The OHG has compiled a Technical Framework Document that will be submitted to the various world standards development organizations. The document will serve as a blueprint of agreed-upon technical issues for regional standards bodies to consider and implement as they establish final 3G CDMA standards. The OHG has formed a Transition Team, which includes representation from BellSouth, to oversee implementation of this harmonization plan.

The agreement defines a harmonized CDMA standard with three modes. The direct-sequence (DS) CDMA mode has a chip rate of 3.84 Mcps and supports asynchronous and synchronous operation. To ensure compatibility with existing IS-95 systems, the OHG also defined a multi-carrier (MC) CDMA mode that uses a chip rate of 3.68 Mcps and supports synchronous operation. The third mode is a time division duplex (TDD) mode employing a chip rate of 3.84 Mcps. Each of the modes of the CDMA harmonization agreement will be supported on both ANSI-41 and GSM-MAP networks.

The focus of the OHG's activities has centered on CDMA systems, however, IS-136 TDMA operators have also participated in this activity. It has been the view of the OHG through this entire process that TDMA has a separate migration path to 3G systems that did not require the harmonization effort that was needed for CDMA systems.

In addition to the success of the OHG, BellSouth has been actively involved in other industry-led efforts to facilitate the convergence of TDMA and GSM systems. As part of the continuing convergence between TDMA and GSM, BellSouth in May presented to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC) carriers' vision of an enhanced, harmonized mode for EDGE, called EDGE Compact.

EDGE Compact is expected to be adopted as a new work item in ETSI for completion of standardization for Release '99. EDGE Compact supports up to 384 kbps packet data while reducing the bandwidth required from 2.4 MHz to 0.8 MHz. This significantly reduces the cost for deploying EDGE in networks where spectrum is at a premium. BellSouth is optimistic that EDGE Compact will be supported in all future EDGE mobile phones. These benefits will allow BellSouth a smooth and cost-effective migration path option to 3G.

BellSouth's wireless companies, BellSouth Mobility (BMI), BellSouth Mobility DCS and American Cellular Communications Corporation (ACC), provide wireless communications services to nearly 6 million customers in 13 states. BMI operates with its partners in eight Southeastern states. BellSouth Mobility DCS launched service in 1996 and became the first company in the Southeast and the third company in the United States to introduce the latest in PCS technology in North Carolina, South Carolina, East Tennessee and eastern Georgia. ACC markets operate under a variety of names in California, Texas and Virginia and as Cellular One in Indiana. Visit us on the Web at www.bellsouthmobility.com or www.bellsouthdcs.com .
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 3, 1999
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