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UMTS Networks: Architecture, Mobility and Services

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The world's first public GSM call was made on 1st July 1991 in a city park of Helsinki, Finland. That event is now regarded as the birthday of the second generation mobile telephony. GSM has been an overwhelming success, which was difficult to predict at that early stage. In the past 10 years GSM has become a truly global system for mobile communications. We now have cellular phone penetration rates exceeding 50% in many countries and approaching 80% in the Nordic countries.

Ten years later GSM has brought us onto the footstep of the third generation mobile communications system - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). Again the first networks are being opened and a new generation of fancy mobile phones will appear. By the end of February 2001 already 61 UMTS licenses were awarded to network operators in 16 different countries.

UMTS networks will introduce into wide area use a completely new high bit rate radio technology - wideband CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). On the other hand the core network part of the UMTS system is firmly founded on the successful GSM network, which has evolved from circuit switched voice network into a global platform for mobile packet data services like short messaging, mobile web browsing and mobile e-mail access.

The latest estimates show, that packet switching traffic in the mobile core networks will exceed circuit switching by 2005. This transition is enabled by the UMTS system, which makes it possible for the network operators to provide equally strong circuit-switched and packet-switched domains to meet the speed and capacity demands. Most voice and timecritical data services may still use circuit switching, while less time-sensitive data passes through the UMTS mobile packet core network.

One of the key promises made by the UMTS mobile computing and communications devices is the ability to deliver information to users almost anytime and anywhere. In UMTS the mobile phone is becoming a personal trusted device, a life management tool for work and leisure. Among the new possibilities for communication, entertainment and business are new kinds of rich call and multimedia data services, which are fuelled by the mobility and personalisation of users and their terminals.

This is a book about UMTS networks as a third generation platform for mobility and services. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the system architecture and its evolution and to serve as a guidebook to those who need to study the specifications from the Third Generation Partnership Program (3GPP). The content of the book is divided into three parts.
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