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Industry News

The Commercial Market

December 1, 1997
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The Commercial Market

Next-generation TDMA/CDMA Wireless Standard Development is Underway
Motorola has announced plans to work with Siemens AG and four other Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) manufacturers to develop a next-generation wireless standard for Europe that combines elements of both code-division multiple access (CDMA) and time-division multiple access (TDMA) cellular technologies. Motorola joins Alcatel, Bosch, Italtel and Northern Telecom in supporting Siemens’ proposed standard, which is intended to provide an economical and smooth transition from GSM to Europe’s next-generation cellular standard.

In related news, Hughes Network Systems also has presented its third-generation (3G) wireless proposal, which provides a solution that the company claims is fully backward compatible with both EIA-136 TDMA and IS-95 CDMA standards. While both TDMA and CDMA technologies deliver voice and low rate data services, 3G will be able to deliver high bandwidth multimedia data including Internet access and video conferencing. Wireless handsets will be able to serve as delivery or intermediary vehicles for multimedia services that currently require wireline systems.

These proposals, among others, respond to the invitation from the International Telecommunications Union through its International Mobile Communications 2000 project call for proposals for 3G standards that support data rates up to 144 kbps for mobile operation, 384 kbps for pedestrian and 2 Mbps for fixed installations.

Study Forecasts 45 Million Latin American Cellular/PCS Subscribers by 2002
A recent study conducted by The Strategis Group ("Latin American Cellular/ PCS Markets: 1997") discusses the factors responsible for projections of cellular/personal communications service (PCS) subscriber growth in the region through 2002. The study includes an overview of cellular/PCS licensing, operators and system status, subscriber demand projections by country and region, service revenue projections, and telephone unit sales and value projections.

The approximately nine million cellular/PCS subscribers in Latin America and the Caribbean at mid-1997 represent a 10-fold increase over that total five years ago. The study forecasts that continued rapid subscriber growth over the next five years will yield a total of 45 million subscribers by 2002, a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent/year. The report cites the $2.45 B bid by the BellSouth consortium for the São Paulo band-B license as evidence of the confidence investors have in the region’s prospects.

Brazil alone is expected to add 14.6 million subscribers by 2002. The top three cellular/PCS subscriber markets in 2002 are projected to be the metropolitan areas of São Paulo with 4.5 million, Mexico City with 3.8 million and Buenos Aires with 3 million. These three areas combined are expected to account for 25 percent of the Latin American regional cellular/PCS subscriber base by 2002. For additional information, contact The Strategis Group at (202) 530-7500, fax (202) 530-7550 or e-mail: tgutierrez@strategisgroup.com.

EIA Lists Top 10 Trading Partners
The Electronics Industries Association (EIA) has published its lists of the top 10 foreign markets for US electronics exports and the top 10 suppliers of US electronics imports for 1996. Canada is the leading US export market taking $20.8 B of US electronics products in 1996, a 7.8 percent gain over 1995. Japan is in second place with $16 B, a 17.5 percent rise over its 1995 total of $13.6 B. Mexico places third at $11.4 B, 29.3 percent more than the 1995 figure of $11.4 B. These markets account for 36 percent of the total $135.4 B total US electronics exports in 1996.

Despite a nine percent drop from 1995 results, Japan ranks first in the import market with sales of $38.1 B in 1996. Singapore is second at $17 B and Mexico is third with $14.5 B. The top 10 import suppliers account for nearly 87 percent of the total US electronics import market in 1996.

Major Latin American Telecommunications System Ordered
Direc-to-Phone International Inc., a subsidiary of STM Wireless Inc., has announced the receipt of a 10-year service contract from Miditel to provide a nationwide satellite network for telephony and data services throughout Mexico. Miditel, which is 51 percent owned by a Mexican partner and 49 percent owned by Korea Telecom, is licensed to provide telecommunications services in Mexico.

The contract calls for the installation of a minimum of 7500 satellite telephone lines at 2500 initial locations that currently do not have adequate communications facilities. Miditel also will use satellite and wireless technologies to provide telecommunications services in major market areas. Equipment deliveries have already begun and installations are expected to be completed within 24 months. Geostationary satellites will serve the fixed-satellite line portion of the network.

In related news, Harris Corp. has been awarded a contract estimated at $80 M to design and install the radio infrastructure of one of Brazil’s first digital cellular networks. BCP SA and BSE SA, two companies led by BellSouth and the Safra Group, selected Harris to provide the microwave radio systems and services in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area and a six-state region of northeast Brazil. Under the three-year contract, Harris will provide full turnkey services for the RF portions of the systems and will connect individual cellular sites in São Paulo and northeastern Brazil.

$13 M Contract to Fit Transit District Vehicles with AVL System
Orbital Sciences Corp. has announced the award of a $12.8 M contract from the Alameda Contra Costa Transit District to provide its satellite-based automatic vehicle location (AVL) system for a fleet of 740 fixed-route transit, supervisor and maintenance vehicles. A combination of satellite and terrestrial technologies will be used to track vehicle location and monitor bus schedule performance.

A vehicle-mounted Global Positioning Satellite receiver and an onboard computer will monitor vehicle performance and adherence to schedules by continuously comparing vehicle position to schedule. The information will be made available to drivers on liquid crystal displays and be transmitted to a command center via two-way radio.

First Commercial Globalstar China Gateway Construction Underway
As reported in M2 Presswire, CHINASAT, a division of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) of China, has begun construction of the first commercial Globalstar gateway in China. Located at CHINASAT’s satellite control and telecommunications facility on the outskirts of Beijing, the gateway is the first of three systems scheduled to be built in China. Other gateways are planned for construction in Guangzhou and Lanzhou.

The satellite earth station, which is being built jointly by Globalstar and CHINASAT, will comprise four C-band antennas, providing uplinks at 5090 to 5250 MHz and downlinks at 6875 to 7075 MHz. CHINASAT will own and operate the gateways, act as sole distributor of Globalstar services in China and be responsible for interconnecting the Globalstar system with China’s existing wireline and wireless infrastructure. Globalstar expects to serve more than 200,000 customers in China by 2002.

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