Philips: Chinese 3G standard will go ‘global’

TD-SCDMA as important as CDMA in the long run

A Chinese standard for 3G (third generation) mobile communications will emerge as one of the top global 3G standards, according to the chief executive of Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands.

TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access), a 3G standard largely developed in China, will be of particular interest to developing economies, Gerard Kleisterlee, president and CEO of the company, told reporters in Bangalore, India.

TD-SCDMA not only provides high bandwidth, which is required for data-intensive multimedia applications like streaming video and audio, but also provides low-cost technology for users who want to use their mobile phones for telephony alone, according to Kleisterlee. The cost of setting up the infrastructure is relatively lower than for other 3G standards, he says.

The first large market for TD-SCDMA will be China because the technology has been largely developed there, according to Kleisterlee. Down the line it would also be attractive to developing economies that have not made large investments either in CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) or 3G standards, he says. Even in less developed areas in Europe or the US where investments in 3G have already been made, TD-SCDMA may still be attractive because the transition cost from existing 3G infrastructure to TD-SCDMA infrastructure is small.

A new focus area for Philips Innovation Campus (PIC), the Bangalore-based development subsidiary of Philips, is the development of technologies and products for emerging markets, says Kleisterlee.

India has the potential to become a test-bed for developing technologies that address the needs of the four billion people who are at “the base of the global economic pyramid,” the company says.

Philips is collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore and other organisations on a telemedicine pilot project to provide distance health care to rural communities.

PIC already contributes around one-third of the software content of Philip’s products worldwide and has established itself as a key centre of excellence for the company. The centre also designs some of Philips’ Nexperia chips included in products as diverse as mobile phones and digital television sets.

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