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Concept Phones

Concept Phones – A Peek Into Our Mobile Future

August 2000
By Daniel Cheung      

With all this talk of 3G, mobile multimedia and the like, what will our future mobile phones look like?  What can we actually do in the future that is so different from the mobile phones today?  How can we get a “sneak-preview” of what is to come in the world of mobile phones?  The answer – concept phones.

Don’t worry – concept phones are by no means like the solar-powered concept cars we have seen before (that is, they look nice and sound terrific, but are never seen or used outside of the exhibitions).  The technology for these phones of the future is sure to come sooner rather than later. 

What is 3G, W-CDMA and Mobile Multimedia? 

Well, before we start looking deeper into what is possible with concept phones, let’s just clear up some mobile phone jargons once and for all so we’re speaking the same language. 

In simple terms, 3G (Third Generation mobile technology) means the combining of high-speed mobile access and Internet access services.  That’s simple enough… 

W-CDMA (Wideband CDMA) is the most promising technology candidate for delivering 3G.  Basically, it is a radio-transmission technology (still being tested on) that will provide unprecedented data transfer rates for the mobile phone world.  

For the technologically inclined, here’s how it works – it transmits radio signals spread over a wide frequency band, rather than using a single narrow frequency band.  The first benefit of this is a higher data transfer rate (up to 2 MB per second).  Secondly, it is less likely to be affected by interference, noise and other signal disturbances that occur at narrow frequency bands. The third benefit of this is that with W-CDMA, cells (the areas each base station covers) no longer need to use different frequencies since one wide frequency band is used for all cells, increasing user mobility – mobile global communications will become widespread. 

Mobile multimedia communications means that users can use mobile phones to transmit and receive not only speech (one medium), but also video and digital data.  W-CDMA will enable all these due to its high data transfer rate and steadiness of data transfer.

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