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W-CDMA and SW-CDMA (satellite W-CDMA) air interfaces require that a user equipment in a given cell acquires slot and frame synchronization, and identifies the primary scrambling code used by the target cell before starting communications. This synchronization procedure is identified as cell search procedure in W-CDMA and beam search procedure in SW-CDMA. Notwithstanding the extensive commonalities between the two air interfaces, the two procedures are actually different. The paper aims at the evaluation of the false acquisition probability achievable by the two procedures in a scenario in which the receiver may experience both satellite and terrestrial radio propagation conditions. This is a sensible evaluation scenario since, in the delivery of multicast-broadcast multimedia services, the satellite UMTS network represents an efficient complement to terrestrial UMTS, since its coverage is extended to indoor and urban areas through, for example, the use of terrestrial intermediate repeaters. Rayleigh fading, Rice fading, and vehicular multipath propagation channels are used for the performance assessment.