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The CDMA Development Group Comments On Recent Transatlantic Business Dialogue's (TABD) Trade Meeting, Universal Support For Convergence Could Lead To Common Worldwide 3G CDMA

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 22, 1999 -- The CDMA Development Group (CDG) today stated that it was very pleased with the results of the recent TransAtlantic Business Dialogue's (TABD) meeting held in Washington last week, noting that the meeting indicated clear support for convergence of W-CDMA and CDMA2000 proposals. The CDG has been stressing the need for convergence of common CDMA proposals since this issue arose before the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) almost a year ago.

TABD brings together senior executives of European and U.S. companies to discuss trade-related matters. The third generation (3G) wireless standards dispute was a key issue on the agenda of this TABD meeting, with many members trying to avert the issue from escalating into an all-out trade war between the U.S. and the European Union. The U.S. has recently stated that it was considering evoking Super 301 relative to the European Union's closed business practices to non-European based wireless standards. Super 301 enables the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to identify the most significant unfair trade practices facing the U.S. and to focus U.S. resources on eliminating those practices.

At last week's TABD meeting, broad support was given to a single, 3G CDMA standard that is backward compatible with existing systems and whose framework consists of three modes: a multicarrier mode supporting both 1X and 3X bandwidths, a direct sequence mode and a TDD mode. It was agreed that an attempt would be made to achieve maximum commonality among these modes to facilitate the production of low-cost mobile units that can operate across all CDMA systems and link with existing second-generation networks. Members also agreed that each mode would support both core networks, GSM-MAP and ANSI-41; and provision would be made for network-to-network interfaces.

This agreement is a departure from previous statements made by the European Technical Standards Institute (ETSI) and some European operators and manufacturers. There was no other resolution of technical details such as chip rate.

"This is the first step in resolving the current 3G standards impasse. We finally have everyone supporting convergence and stressing the need for commonality among the modes of the standard. We are pleased that the CDG and its member companies have helped achieve this agreement," said Perry LaForge, executive director of the CDG. "We now need to move to the next step of resolving the parameter differences between the modes. The differences are small and we have already identified approaches for converging the CDMA2000 and W-CDMA proposals that meet the goals established by the TABD."

LaForge continued, "The next few months will tell whether this TABD meeting is a true breakthrough. It will be important for ETSI and TIA and other standards bodies to meet the objectives outlined in TABD. For the first time, we now have people recognizing that resolving these differences will be key to achieving a 3G, ITU-based standard. No one wants to have only an ETSI or TIA or ARIB supported standard for 3G; we all agree that a common, ITU supported 3G approach will be key to driving the next generation wireless marketplace. And of course, we all agree the future is CDMA."