UMTS is Big Business in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 15.11.2001
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UMTS is Big Business in Germany

The acronymn UMTS is on every tech-junkies lips as they eagerly anticipate its arrival. But what exactly is it and what's all the fuss about in Germany?


Six compies and consortia are fighting for their piece of the mobile telecommunications pie

UMTS stands for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System and is also known as 3G (third generation communications sysrtems). It is assumed that UMTS will deliver pictures, graphics, video communications and other wide-band information as well as voice and data, direct to those on the move.

UMTS will build on the capability of today’s mobile technologies like cellular and cordless telephones by providing increased capacity, data capability and a far greater range of services using an innovative radio access scheme and an enhanced core network.

The deployment of UMTS is about more than just the launching of a new communication language as mobile handsets, webcams and the like will also need to change.

UMTS is about convergence. It brings together almost every communications technology available to the consumer and allows for one integrated communication experience like video conferencing over mobile telephones.

Big Business

UMTS means big business for the German market. With a population of 82.2 million, a mobile telephone penetration of 66 percent and a home internet penetration 35 percent, telecom companies are fighting hard and paying exhorbitant sums for their share of the UMTS pie.

In Germany, airspace for the use of 3G or UMTS technology was auctioned off to companies looking to be a part of the information revolution.

Six companies contributed a total sum of $46.11 billion for UMTS access. The six companies and consortia are T-Mobil, D2 Vodafone (formerly Mannesmann Mobilfunk), E-Plus / Hutchison 3G, Viag Interkom, Group 3G, and Mobilcom Multimedia.

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