The Japanese company has set up a joint venture with UK communications research and development company, ERA Technology, to design systems for the multimedia network.
The venture will be known as Telecom Modus, with NEC and ERA Technology holding 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively. The initial market capitalisation of the company will be #1 million, and it is expected to employ 100 staff by the year 2000.
NEC has been heavily involved in the development of WCDMA, a future radio access technology. WCDMA will form part of the UTRA radio access technology used in UMTS, Europe's next generation multimedia mobile communications network, set to become operational in 2002.
The Japanese electronics giant is pinning its hopes on UMTS achieving its global ambitions. UMTS has been accepted as a European standard by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute which will put it forward to the International Telecommunications Union as a global network.
Since WCDMA is already beginning to gain acceptance in Asia-Pacific, NEC believes its work with ERA Technology will give it a good foothold in the nascent multimedia network in its home region. It already provides analog and digital base stations to the US and Japan.
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