Meet the 3G car

And it's probably a nice ride even without the comms...
Written by CNET Networks, Contributor

And it's probably a nice ride even without the comms...

By Winston Chai A consortium of four companies in the city-state of Singapore - Mercedes Benz, SingTel Mobile, Siemens and NEC - has unveiled what it claims to be the world's first car to feature third-generation (3G) UMTS mobile services. UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), a mobile standard based on W-CDMA 3G technology, is a popular migration path for GSM operators. The 3G-enabled prototype - a customised Mercedes Benz S-Class luxury sedan with frills such as wireless keyboards and 15-inch monitors - provides a myriad of services including video streaming and conferencing, location-based city guides and high-speed internet access of up to 256Kbps. While Singapore's 3G deployments are not expected to go live until next year, the car's multimedia offerings were made possible by SingTel Mobile's trial network in the central business district (CBD). The network was jointly built via an alliance between Siemens Mobile and NEC, who are currently vying with competitors Nokia and Ericsson for SingTel Mobile's soon-to-be- announced 3G network agreement. "We will award our 3G contract by the middle of this year," said Lucas Chow, SingTel Mobile CEO. "We will also launch selected 3G services, likely to be in the CDB area, by year-end." SingTel Mobile is the only operator in the island-state to remain undecided about its network supplier. M1 and StarHub both awarded their 3G network contracts to mobile phone giant Nokia in 2000. Winston Chai writes for CNETAsia.
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