UMTS is seen by most operators as the panacea for a total and seamless
cellular system. MSs will not only have to be tri or even quad band but
also multi mode (GSM & WCDMA) thus the complexity will staggering.
Initially, the user will probably have to select which type of service
they require (Speech or Data) but ultimately this service detection will
be done by the network. MSs will become smaller but as the size of the
human finger will not alter so there is a limitation in this parameter.
Voice control will be the order of day and the user may only have one
button to press, the on/off button. Eventually this may even disappear
as this function could be achieved simply tapping the MS as is portrayed
in the Sci Fi series Star Trek.
What is going to happen to the network is anybody’s guess. Already,
there as plans for the use of WANs in buildings where this acts as yet
another layer below the pico cell. This is already being trialed as an
extension to WCDMA.
Speech, will still for
the foreseeable future be the main revenue earner for the operator and
combining this with video is likely to be the next major advance.
Perhaps, the speech
will be handled on GSM and the video on WCDMA but this will pose some
interesting problems on timing and synchronization. At the moment,
everyone is concentrating on getting UMTS right and compatible between
countries and manufacturers.