Siemens and NEC partner on mobile tech

Alliance brings together R&D expertise in two areas, products set for late 2000

Siemens and NEC have formed a joint venture to develop radio infrastructure for third generation mobile networks, the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS).

The joint venture, based in Reading, will be called Mobisphere. It will combine research and development relating to the two major UMTS technologies -- Frequency Division Duplex (FDD), NEC's area of expertise, and Time Division Duplex (TDD), Siemens' speciality.

Products from the venture, to include base receiver station, radio network controller and operations and maintenance centre, are expected to be available at the end of 2000. Commercial UMTS operations are expected to begin worldwide in 2002. The two companies will continue to develop and market mobile terminals individually.

Siemens and NEC said that they will invest over £1bn in UMTS research and development in the next ten years and aim to achieve 20 percent of the world wide UMTS radio system market.

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