Intercontinental mobile phone interoperability took a step closer last week thanks to the European-based GSM Association ending its long-running feud with rival US bodies.
The move will be good news for UK users, who for years have had to do without their GSM-based mobile phones once they travelled to the USA.
The closer ties should also help put a lid on the threat of a mobile trade war between Europe and the US. Last year, the US threatened sanctions against the European Union, over its intentions to promote a form of GSM for third generation services.
The GSM standard already accommodates 55% of the world's mobile phone subscribers.
The two digital standards that the GSM Association wants to get on board are CDMA and TDMA which are commonly used in the USA.
The GSM Association is also allowing companies that currently do not support GSM to become members. Among the first to take advantage is AT&T Wireless.