UMTS support edges towards mandatory in Asia

There are signs that UMTS support is becoming mandatory for devices sold in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the latest Global Mobile Suppliers' Association (GSA) report, there is evidence that UMTS900 is becoming a mandatory requirement for devices sold in the both the APAC and EMEA regions.

UMTS networks have been deployed in Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, as well as a number of European countries.

Spectrum has been allocated to three operators in Singapore, and in the Philippines, Globe Telecom has applied for 3G spectrum at low frequencies.

The biggest barrier to becoming a requirement in these regions, the report states, is the European GSM Directive, which reserves the 900MHz band in the region for GSM use.

But the directive is currently being reconsidered, and exceptions have been made in several European countries.