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A group of operators have formed an alliance, which will determine the future mobile networks, e.g., decide, which features and capabilities are required by the 4th generation of mobile networks, which will be deployed after 2010.

KPN Mobile NV, Orange SA, Sprint Nextel Corporation, T-Mobile International AG & Co KG and, Vodafone Group PLC have formed a group called Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN), which is expected to provide a set of recommendations for the creation of networks suitable for the competitive delivery of mobile broadband services and cost-efficient eventual replacement of existing networks.. This initiative intends to complement and support the work within standardization bodies by providing a coherent view of what the operator community is going to require in the decade beyond 2010.

The vision of the initiative is to provide a platform for innovation by moving towards one integrated network for the seamless introduction of mobile broadband services. In addition, NGMN will coexist with other networks while it facilitates smooth migration from, and is capable of replacing, existing networks. The initial objective of the initiative is the commercial launch of a new experience in mobile broadband communications by 2010 to ensure a long and successful cycle of investment, innovation and adoption of new and familiar services that would benefit all members of the mobile ecosystem.

The target architecture defined by these recommendations will be an optimised Packet Switched (PS) network architecture, which will provide a smooth migration of existing 2G and 3G networks towards an IP network with improved cost competitiveness and broadband performance, according to the group’s statement. Therefore, NGMN can be accurately viewed as a further step in the evolution of current industry efforts in HSDPA, HSUPA, and EVDO arenas enabling a personalised broadband access experience and consolidating the diversity of networks operated by mobile network operators.

The partners in NGMN project call other members of the mobile industry to submit their recommendations to the appropriate standardisation bodies and resolve the issues that are critical and yet outside the current scope of those bodies “so that the benefits of mobility, interoperability and global reach can be extended to a new generation of services that are desirable, viable, and feasible”.

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