NEC Corp. has completed a contract to provide its iPASOLINK microwave backhaul series to the Belgacom-Cassidian consortium, which will replace one of the major building blocks of the Belgian ASTRID radio communications network.

Replacing ASTRID’s current microwave transmission equipment with the iPASOLINK series will increase its availability to users in extreme weather conditions. The series also provides the necessary capacity to handle the rapidly increasing traffic demanded by new data applications. The hybrid radio architecture of the iPASOLINK series ensures the smooth transition from traditional Time-division multiplexing (TDM) based communication to the next-generation IP based communication. The new equipment will consist of iPASOLINK 400, iPASOLINK 1000 and the management system MS5000.

Under the overall ASTRID contract completed by the Belgacom-Cassidian consortium, consortium partner Belgacom will deliver NEC’s microwave equipment, installation services and the first line of integration and maintenance. Cassidian and NEC will be responsible for the installation and configuration of the new microwave network monitoring system, maintenance and training.

“Providing public safety is a vital service and NEC’s iPASOLINK fully meets our requirements for microwave equipment that can handle even severe weather conditions and stay ahead of the rapid technological evolution in radio communication,” said Kris Verheye, vice president, corporate market enterprise business unit, Belgacom.

 “NEC’s microwave technology has always been at the forefront of new developments and its advanced capabilities allow the Belgacom-Cassidian consortium to run a stable service at all times,” said Michael Stueckmann, managing director, NEC Deutschland GmbH responsible for all activities within DACH & Benelux.