Strategy Analytics released, "Popular UMTS Multi-band Combinations: Implications for Radio Components," from its RF and Wireless Components Service, which assists radio component companies in targeting their design resources to expected market trends. The need for handsets that can operate in UMTS and legacy GSM modes across multiple regions will drive shipments of handsets with as many as seven or more bands. Operator decisions on which bands to support in these handsets have already started to set the product development course for suppliers of radio components.

This research, based on regional spectrum allocations and the plans of leading wireless operators, assesses which combinations of frequency bands will emerge as most significant as UMTS matures. With knowledge of these bands and careful design, suppliers of radio components can minimize the number of transceivers and front-end modules that they will have to develop to address the future handset market.

"By focusing on the most popular bands, radio component designers can target the needs of high volume markets or select niches best suited to their company's capabilities," notes Stephen Entwistle, vice president of the Strategic Technologies Practice at Strategy Analytics.

"The leading suppliers do not have the luxury of developing unique transceivers and front-end modules for each and every possible combination of bands," adds Chris Taylor, director of the RF and Wireless Components Service. "Instead, they are attempting to develop a small suite of products that can address as many combinations of bands as possible, particularly the ones that they believe will emerge in high volume."