The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) agreed Wednesday to a new specification for next-generation mobile technology to be called IMT-Advanced. At a meeting in Geneva, the ITU, an international regulatory body of the UN, gave wireless technologies known as LTE-Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced the official designation IMT-Advanced. The ITU said IMT-Advanced systems will include new capabilities that go beyond IMT-2000, the technologies that have been widely deployed since 2000 that are also referred to as 3G mobile wireless. “IMT-Advanced marks a huge leap forward in state-of-the-art technologies, which will make the present day smart phone feel like an old dial up Internet connection. Access to the Internet, streaming videos and data transfers anytime, anywhere will be better than most desktop connections today,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said in a statement. IMT-Advanced networks will be substantially faster than fourth-generation network technologies like LTE, which carriers in Canada and the U.S. are only starting to roll out now. François Rancy, director of the ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau, said IMT-Advanced will make today's 3G smartphones “at least 500 times faster” and use radio-frequency spectrum more efficiently, making higher data transfers possible on less bandwidth. “This will enable mobile networks to face the dramatic increase in data traffic that is expected in the coming years,” Rancy said. IMT-Advanced systems support low-to-high mobility applications and a wide range of data rates supporting various user and service demands, the ITU said. The technology also supports high-quality multimedia applications on a wide range of services and platforms, the ITU said. The ITU leads international efforts for governments and industry to produce next-generation standards for mobile communications.