A flagship series of Recommendations representing the culmination of one of the most intensive and successful development efforts ever undertaken by ITU, IMT-2000 is the globally-agreed standard for third generation (3G) mobile telephony which will serve as the universal platform for 3G voice and mobile Internet services as they begin to be rolled out around the world, starting with Japan in late 2001 and Europe in 2002.
In recognition of the growing importance of mobile communication systems, not only to users in the highly saturated business markets of the
developed world, but to a rapidly growing number of users in developing nations where cellular systems are helping fill
long-standing gaps in fixed access, the year 2000 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-2000) designated additional
spectrum for IMT-2000 systems in three harmonized global bands which make use of existing mobile and mobile satellite
allocations. These common bands will facilitate the introduction of next-generation services by providing maximum
flexibility for operators to evolve current second-generation networks towards broadband IMT-2000 services in line with
market conditions, while ensuring the possibility of global roaming for “world-enabled” terminals.
In addition, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-2000) created a new Special Study Group (SSG) on IMT-2000 and Beyond, with the purpose of addressing the most important network aspects of IMT-2000 and future mobile systems. This SSG will work towards full fixed/2G/3G internetworking and interoperability, while at the same time addressing other issues relating to wireless Internet, the convergence of mobile and fixed networks, mobility management, mobile multimedia functionality and the need for future enhancements to existing Recommendations to keep pace with next-generation mobile system evolution. The new Group will also help promote harmonization of development activities now under way in a number of forums working on emerging 3G systems.
During the year, Study Group 11 of the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) also contributed three new IMT-2000 Recommendations in the area of core network infrastructure (ITU-T Q.1721, Q.1731 and Q.1751), and published an important roadmap to IMT-2000
standardization by ITU, the Third Generation Partnership Projects (3GPP and 3GPP2) and other standardization bodies.
This roadmap is published as Supplement 30 to the ITU-T Q series Recommendations.
Meanwhile, the new IMT-2000 Project, established during the course of the year 2000 under the auspices of the Office of the Secretary-General, addressed a number of aspects of IMT-2000 systems that go beyond the specific mandates of the ITU-R and ITU-T Study Groups, or complement their activities.
Such activities include the facilitation of global circulation of IMT-2000 terminals through an internationally recognized framework, developed in close consultation with ITU Members and based on technical criteria adopted by ITU-R and ITU-T. As the first cellular mobile system specifically designed to support seamless global roaming, it will be imperative to the success of third generation networks that IMT-2000 terminals provide consistent functionality and reliability, regardless of where in the world they are used. ITU is playing a key role in this area by facilitating the establishment of efficient mechanisms to provide for unhindered cross-border use of terminals, and by harmonizing the complex issues of national type approval requirements and emission limit standards. Through worldwide consultations with regulators, manufacturers and carriers, and using the technical foundations established by ITU-R and ITU-T Study Groups, ITU hopes to have a framework for global circulation ready by the end of 2001.