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Japanese Government Panel Urges Adoption of cmda

Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications will start laying the groundwork for introduction of advanced digital communications system

CDMA standard for Japan nears approval by industry group

COSTA MESA, CA, February 26, 1997 -- A high-level advisory panel to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) recommended Monday that Japan should adopt CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) as the national standard for digital cellular telephone service.

The Telecommunications Technology Council advised Posts and Telecommunications Minister Hisao Horinouchi that CDMA would be preferable to the European-based GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standard.

The panel's report highlighted the ability of CDMA systems to operate within the allocated 4-megahertz frequency band as well as the suitability of CDMA for Japanese digital mobile phones. The panel noted that GSM could not be adopted in Japan because the standard would require a frequency band of at least 4.8 megahertz for transmission and receipt of messages. This would exceed the 4 megahertz frequency band for new digital cellular systems.

Japan has experienced explosive growth in demand for mobile communications due to deregulation and cost advantages over wireline systems. By October 1996, the number of cellular subscribers in Japan was approximately 15.5 million, up from just over 10 million in March 1996. At these growth rates, the existing cellular spectrum was expected to reach its capacity limits in the Tokyo and Osaka metropolitan areas before the year 2000.

The Committee for Efficient Utilization of Cellular Frequency Spectrum, an arm of the MPT, has been studying CDMA intensively since April 1996. The committee recently concluded that migration of existing analog cellular bands to IS-95 CDMA is a promising way to reduce spectrum congestion. Some field trial data suggest that CDMA can provide capacity increases of 50% over PDC (Personal Digital Cellular), an existing Japanese digital cellular standard.

"We believe that this now clears the way for rapid introduction of IS-95 based CDMA within Japan," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDMA Development Group. "This solidifies CDMA's growing dominance of the Asian market. The committee's thorough analysis clearly indicated why CDMA is now the technology of choice for the modern wireless marketplace."

Following the approval of the final report of the Committee by the Telecommunications Technology Council on February 24, the MPT will begin revision of existing regulations in accordance with the final report. The revisions should be completed this summer.

Industry group adopts CDMA standard for Japan

Another important activity regarding CDMA adoption by Japan is the development of a Japanese standard for CDMA. The industry group ARIB (Association of Radio Industries and Businesses) has announcedthe completion of the first version of a standard for IS-95 based CDMA systems for Japan.

The standard, designated ARIB STD-T53: "Mobile Station ­ Base Station Compatibility Standard for CDMA Cellular Systems", was adopted by the CDMA Working Group of ARIB on February 12. The standard is consistent with the original IS-95 CDMA specification and provides for dual mode operation with Japan's existing JTACS/NTACS analog standards.

For more information about CDMA developments in Japan or about the CDG, please contact Perry LaForge of Pittiglio Rabin Todd and McGrath at (714) 545-9400, email plaforge@prtm.com.