UN telecom agency takes step to boost 3G mobile phone services around the world

8 March 2010 – Users on so-called third-generation (3G) mobile telephones are set to receive a boost in worldwide compatibility, international roaming capability and greater access to high-speed data services from a new United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard announced today.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said these advances will facilitate the agency’s efforts to promote broadband access in rural and remote areas around the world.

The standard provides access to a wide range of telecommunication services for existing 3G network users by identifying satellite radio interface specifications for IMT-2000 systems through one or more radio connections.

ITU said that even as the satellite component of IMT-2000 3G services continues to evolve, work is already in progress to develop the satellite radio interfaces for IMT-Advanced, which provides a global platform for the next generations of services that will provide faster data access, unified messaging and broadband multimedia.

In related news, ITU announced it has provided emergency communications aid to support the search and rescue effort in eastern Uganda in the wake of last week’s mudslides which completely destroyed villages, left hundreds of people dead or missing, and many more are homeless.

“In Uganda, and around the globe, ITU will always do its best to help those who need emergency telecommunications,” said Mr. Touré.

ITU sent 20 Thuraya satellite terminals to the affected area on 3 March, which will be vital for coordinating the logistics of relief work in the aftermath of a series of devastating mudslides on the slopes of Mount Elgon, which began on 1 March, buried homes under metres of earth and rock following days of heavy rain.

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