Integration Of Umts And B-isdn: Is It Possible Or Desirable?

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Integration Of UMTS And B-ISDN: Is It Possible Or Desirable? INTRODUCTION In the future, existing fixed networks will be complemented by mobile networks with similar numbers of users. These mobile users will have identical requirements and expectations to the fixed users, for on-demand applications of telecommunications requiring high bit-rate channels. It will be necessary for these fixed and mobile networks to interoperate in order to pass data, in real time and at high speeds, between their users. But how far must this interoperation be taken? How much integration of the fixed and mobile network structures is needed? Here, a fixed network, B-ISDN, and a mobile network, UMTS, under development at the same time, are examined to see how well and closely they should work together in order to meet expected user needs. Work already taking place on this is discussed. BACKGROUND The Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS), the third generation of mobile networks, is presently being specified as part of the European RACE technology initiative. The aim of UMTS is to implement terminal mobility and personal mobility within its systems, providing a single world mobile standard. Outside Europe, UMTS is now known as International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 (IMT2000), which replaces its previous name of Future Public Land Mobile Telecommunication System (FPLMTS). [BUIT95] UMTS is envisaged as providing the infrastructure needed to support a wide range of multimedia digital services, or teleservices [CHEU94], requiring channel bit- rates of less than the UMTS upper ceiling of 2 Mbits/second, as allocated to it in the World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC) '92 bands. UMTS must also support the traditional mobile services presently offered by separate networks, including cordless, cellular, paging, wireless local loop, and satellite services. [BUIT95] Mobile teleservices requiring higher bit rates, from 2 to 155 Mbits/second, are expected to be catered for by Mobile Broadband Services (MBS), the eventual successor to UMTS, which is still under study. [RACED732] Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN), conceived as an all- purpose digital network that will supersede Narrowband ISDN (N-ISDN or ISDN), is also still being specified. B-ISDN, with its transport layer of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is expected to be the backbone of future fixed digital networks. [MINZ89] It is anticipated that, by the year 2005, up to 50% of all communication terminals will be mobile. [CHEU94] The Mobile Green Paper, issued by the European Commission in 1994, predicts 40 million mobile users in the European Union by 2000, rising to 80 million by 2010. This gives mobile users an importance ranking alongside fixed-network users. [BUIT95] One result of this growth in mobile telecommunications will be the increase in teleservice operations that originate in either the fixed or mobile network, but

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