3G in Europe faces not only the challenge of recouping the huge cost of licenses, but also the possibility of being overtaken by the emerging new broadband and wireless technologies. These may coexist or even compete with 3G. IPTS carried out two studies that looked at the milestones for future mobile communications systems, taking into account both the short‐ and the long‐term prospects. The first study addressed success factors for 3G networks, gathering insights from successful experience in other regions of the world, notably Japan. The second covered the influence that alternative technologies might have for the diffusion and uptake of 3G. This paper concludes that, despite competition, universal mobile telecommunications system will lead the future of mobile communications in Europe. It presents the final recommendation to stimulate 3G commercialisation by consolidating 3G as a solid platform for 4G development, integrating co‐existing applications and continuously incorporating emerging standards.
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