Written by: Jan Uddenfeldt

    On the surface, the journal has been “reborn” with a new look and vitality—by now you are certain to have discovered that this issue sports a new cover, layout and graphics. We hope you find these changes aesthetically pleasing. But more importantly, we hope you will agree with us that they improve overall readability and understanding.

    On the inside, the Ericsson Review holds steadfast to its mission of providing solid, trustworthy coverage of the research, development and production achievements made in telecommunications technology at Ericsson. This is what endears the journal to its readers. By means of the Ericsson Review, the editorial staff and I promise to bring you an up-to-date and in-depth look at technical topics of strategic importance to Ericsson. And given the rapid-fire pace that characterizes the development of technology at Ericsson today, I do not foresee the Ericsson Review growing old any time in the near future.

    The New Telecoms World
    Last year, Ericsson’s proposed next-generation wireless systems were generally accepted throughout the world—in January (1998), the technology was adopted by ETSI as the standard for third-generation wireless telephony in Europe. This sparked a comprehensive program whose aim was to unite European efforts with other standardization projects in Japan, China and the United States, and which resulted, last June, in a proposal to the ITU that Ericsson’s WCDMA technology should be adopted as the global standard for third-generation telephony.

    Edge, which is a supplement to GPRS technology, provides operators with an evolutionary path toward higher data rates in wireless networks. During 1998, operators around the world agreed to integrate GSM and TDMA (IS-136) technologies for handling packet data. Thus, although WCDMA will include all the capability required for IMT-2000 compliance, evolution toward higher data rates will not be limited exclusively to the new 2 GHz frequency band. Indeed, thanks to the Edge air interface, operators with networks in the 800, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz frequency bands will also be able to offer third- generation capabilities—for example, wireless IP services.

    To access the full range of third-generation services and capabilities that WCDMA and Edge technologies can deliver, a totally new kind of communication device will be required. To this end, Ericsson, Nokia and Motorola (which together account for more than 65% of the world market for mobile telephones) recently teamed up with Psion (a manufacturer of handheld computers and calculators since the mid-1980s) to form Symbian. This joint-venture company will adapt and market the EPOC operating system for future mobile communication devices. The OS will be based on an open standard and be inexpensive to license, which means that others will be able to use it without great financial cost.

    Sound interesting? It is. And there’s more—this issue of Ericsson Review also contains articles on

    • Mobile Advantage Wireless Office, Ericsson’s digital wireless-office solution for TDMA/136;

    • Ericsson Pro products, which represent a cost-effective alternative to PMR and offer group communication capabilities to new markets, including families;

    • Ericsson’s e-box system, which lays the groundwork for a new infrastructure for services to the home.

    The solutions you read about here are not merely about improving existing technology, but represent revolutionary and pioneering component parts of a wholly new paradigm—the New Telecoms World. I invite you to treat the Ericsson Review as your guide into this new and exciting realm.

    [First published in Ericsson Review no. 01, 1999]