Operators and manufacturers to collaborate on 3G phones

Operators and manufacturers to collaborate on 3G phones

A group of vendors and an operator are developing a platform that will help them cut development time and costs

A group of mobile phone operators and handset vendors is developing a 3G (third-generation) mobile phone platform that combines many standard hardware and software components in an effort to reduce phone development time and costs.

NTT DoCoMo, Renesas Technology, Fujitsu, Mitsubishi Electric, Sharp and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications will jointly develop the platform that will support HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) as well as GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution).

Phones that use the new platform could become available worldwide and at a lower cost than other 3G handsets.

In addition to the communications support, the platform will include a baseband processor, an application processor with multimedia functionality and a reference design including audio and power supply. It will also incorporate an operating system, with Symbian being the first supported.

The companies expect to complete development of the platform in the second quarter 2008.

The initiative is the third conducted by some of the companies involved. The first platform supported W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS and the second, still in development, incorporates additional software components.

By joining forces to develop such a platform, the phone manufacturers don't have to individually build components that are common across all the phones. That means they can reduce development time and cost and focus instead on creating unique features for their phones.

Renesas will sell the platform worldwide, even though most of the partners are in Japan.

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