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NEC enters the third generation

NEC received permission from Qualcomm to make and sell chips using wideband CDMA (code division multiple access) and TD-SCDMA cell phone standards. Both standards are considered third generation (3G) network standards by major groups, including the International Telecommunications Union. The standards are supposed to increase a cell phone network's capacity for voice calls as well as enable wireless downloads at broadband speeds.

Texas Instruments, Philips Electronics, PrairieComm and LSI Logic have reached similar deals with Qualcomm. Some telephone networks, including NTT DoCoMo in Japan, are already using wideband CDMA. TD-SCDMA is used by some Chinese wireless firms.