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"Wasn't it so with GSM and number of other standards (Bluetooth, TETRA, etc) that it was agreed by patent holders that key technologies are free for everyone to use."

Bluetooth has a patent pool, in which you have to surrender your IPR, yes.

GSM? Companies are avoiding each others patents, or licensing them.

UMTS is a different story from GSM, because lots of the key patents from QCOM were official when development of 3G started. As you all know, there is a gap of around 2 years from the date a company files a patent, to the date it's visible to the world. So nobody knows what their competitors have been patenting over the last 2 years, when most of the 3G development has taken place.

"With, 3G this type of agreement has been impossible to make."

Agreed. Although things are looking brighter now, with harmonization work ongoing, and the two main fighters, Ericsson and Qualcomm, agreeing to some extent.

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