Second-generation radio access has been a major success story for the global telecommunications industry, delivering telephony and low bit-rate data services to mobile end-users. The growth rate of second-generation mobile telephony indicates that mobile communication is well on its way toward full mass-market penetration. Thanks to the tremendous growth of the Internet, multimedia is also penetrating the mass market at an explosive pace. Combined, the digital cellular footprint and the multimedia services of the Internet form the basis of tomorrows integrated wireless. The transition to third-generation capabilities must be based on a feasible migration path that defines a way of integrating multimedia, packet switching and wideband radio access into the dominating second-generation systems of our day. Although the standards behind these systems were initially defined on a regional basis, standardization bodies and members of the telecommunications industry have finally agreed on a harmonized global scenario for third-generation radio access standards. The author describes this newly harmonized global scenario, and how the developing third- generation radio access standards will cater for requirements for multimedia and flexibility, spectrum allocation, and successful migration from second- generation systems communication and multimedia access system.