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As mobile operators worldwide migrate to third-generation (3G) networks, conversational video-telephony services are becoming a key differentiator between new 3G offerings and existing 2G/2.5G services. Although it's possible to have limited video-based services - such as a multimedia messaging service - that deliver pictures and video clips over 2.5G services, these are delay-insensitive applications that could run over a packet-based wireless network like general packet radio service (GPRS) or code division multiple access (CDMA)'s 1XRTT. For delay-sensitive applications such as conversational video telephony, present 3G packet bearers are inadequate, and the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP; http://www.3gpp.org) mandates using the 3G bandwidth-guaranteed circuit-switched bearer and the 3G-324M system. The 3G-324M system is a derivative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) H.324 protocol standard for low-bitrate multimedia communication, which ITU-T developed for the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This article describes the 3G-324M system, which has been adopted by both 3GPP and 3GPP2 (htpp://www.3gpp2.org), as well as its H.324 roots.
Date of Publication: July-Sept. 2004