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UT-Starcom to Focus on IPTV?
[December 19, 2005]

UT-Starcom to Focus on IPTV?

TMCnet Associate Editor

U.S. telecom equipment maker UT-Starcom Inc. is reportedly shifting its focus from WCDMA, the European technology of the third mobile communication (3G), to IPTV.

According to a
news release, Wu Ying, president of UT-Starcom, told the Beijing Morning Post today that the company is making adjustments to its development strategy, but as of yet is not ready to completely abandon 3G.

Wu said due to the change of the market and China’s delay of issuing 3G license, UT-Starcom will now focus on technologies which can bring direct profits, such as CDMA2000.

The shift in focus means UT-Starcom could give up WCDMA, the European 3G  standard. The company has reportedly invested more than $125 million (U.S.) on WCDMA, which is one of the three major 3G standards, along with CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA.

The news release states that the shift in focus is mainly due to UT-Starcom’s recent poor performance. Analysts have said it is hard for UT-Starcom to invest heavily in a 3G program with such vague prospects.

Wu said the company will now focus on IPTV, PHS (personal handset system) and mobile phones, aiming at making profits next year with IPTV. The company is reportedly planning to spend about $1.25 billion (U.S.) for IPTV.

UT-Starcom made news last week when it announced the launch of the F1000, a portable Wi-Fi handset configured with Vonage’s VoIP service. The product, which offers mobility across 802.11b networks, allows Vonage subscribers to make calls from any open access Wi-Fi Hot spot.

The F1000 Wi-Fi handset is configured with Vonage’s standard call features: three-way calling, call waiting, repeat dial on busy, call forwarding to user assigned number, call hold/resume, voicemail, call rejecting/redial/mute and Caller ID based on phone book entries. It also includes phone book favorites with ring options including: silent, vibrate and selectable ring tones. Users will be able to configure and save Wi-Fi profiles for ease of connectivity. In addition, the F1000 sports a battery with up to five hours of talk time; 50 to 100 hours of standby; and the ability to recharge in 2-3 hours.

UTStarcom is a global leader in the manufacture, integration and support of IP-based, end-to-end networking and telecommunications solutions. The company sells converged broadband wireless and wireline products, an integrated IPTV solution, and a comprehensive line of handset and customer premise equipment to operators in both emerging and established telecommunications markets worldwide.

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Patrick Barnard is Associate Editor for TMCnet and a columnist covering the telecom industry. To see more of his articles, please visit
Patrick Barnard’s columnist page.

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