International Report

Turnkey Network Opens the Door for Alcatel in Nigeria

In order to unlock the vast potential of the African market, Globacom, the second national carrier of Nigeria, has awarded Alcatel a major global frame contract, with an initial order of 675 M, for the supply of a nation-wide turnkey mobile and fixed telecommunications network, including microwave routes. The first part of the global agreement will provide Globacom with an enhanced mobile and fixed infrastructure with a capacity of two million users in 75 cities, with Alcatel conducting the global project management including implementation, installation, integration, as well as network testing and commissioning.

At the core of the network is the industry-leading Evolium™ solution, including the radio access network (base stations and base station controllers) as well as a circuit and packet core network, while integrating the General Packet Radio Service technology. Alcatel's GPRS network and services are a natural part of the migration path to 3G/UMTS technology.

To carry the traffic, the network will also utilize the company's Local Multipoint Distribution Services (LMDS), as well as low medium and high capacity microwave radio systems, thus totalling 3000 km of microwave routes. Their deployment will provide a mobile backhaul solution to transport growing amounts of mobile voice and data traffic on top of the traditional fixed-broadband enterprise access services.

A fixed wireline network for an initial capacity of 500,000 subscribers will also be implemented in the 15 largest cities of the country. For long distance services, a 2300 km long fibre optic backbone based on Alcatel's SDH Optical Multi-Service Nodes (OMSN) systems will be deployed to interconnect major cities in the country. This will enable operators and service providers to support the delivery of traditional and emerging data services.

Siemens and Tele2 in Russian Federation

Marrying the skills of two leading companies, the Sweden-based telecom operator Tele2 AB has awarded Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) the contract to build its GSM 1800 network throughout the Russian Federation. As per the agreement, Siemens mobile will provide the switching network, radio base stations and microwave transmission systems.

The initiative recognizes the enormous potential for the rapid growth of the Russian mobile radio market, which currently has a penetration rate of around 12 percent, with only about 17.8 million of the 144 million inhabitants currently using mobile telephones.

This new contract is the latest collaboration between the two companies that today cooperate in eight European countries, in the areas of GSM and GPRS technology and mobile services. Acknowledging their close working relationship, Johnny Svedberg, executive vice president and market area director of Tele2 Eastern Europe and Russia, said, "Siemens is one of our long term strategic suppliers with a strong track record and excellent operational performance. We are confident that this extended partnership will allow Tele2 to successfully take the great mobile market opportunity in the Russian Federation."

Dual-band WLAN Pioneer Crosses Frontiers

Demonstrating that technical development knows no boundaries, Synad, the fabless WLAN System-on-Chip company, has begun an international expansion programme with the opening of new offices in Asia, Europe and the US. The company has moved into a new 10,000 ft2 headquarters and engineering facility in Reading, UK, which will house the management team, product development teams as well as European sales and support staff.

Also, in order to strengthen its worldwide presence and commitment to customers in Asia and the US, the company has opened two new offices in Taipei, Taiwan and Irvine, CA. These facilities will provide local marketing, sales and application engineering support in each region.

The background to the expansion is that radio-licensing authorities around the world are releasing both 2.4 and 5 GHz spectrum to facilitate the emergence of IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b and the draft IEEE 802.11g, as global standards. With the WLAN market being undoubtedly global, it is advantageous for WLAN vendors to take an international approach to sales, marketing and engineering support.

The international rollout comes as Synad completes its Mercury5G dual-band WLAN solution that enables roaming and connectivity across 2.4 and 5 GHz wireless networks. Mercury5G delivers connectivity and interoperability between 802.11a, 802.11b and the draft 802.11g standards.

AMS Attains Pole Position in Race for Defence Contract

In a move to strengthen the Polish Air Defence, AMS has been awarded a contract by the NATO Agency NC3A to supply three air defence three-dimensional radar systems (RAT31DL). The contract, which is valued at approximately Û35 M, was won as the result of an open competitive tender. It covers installation, commissioning and related logistics support.

The RAT31DL belongs to the latest generation of 3D long-range radar systems and has excellent capacities in detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles. The antenna is electronically controlled and can thus, in addition to distance and direction data, also provide information on the altitude of the target. This three-dimensional radar system will have full NATO interoperability and has been developed to meet future defence needs, where information and command superiority will play increasingly vital roles.

The Polish contract follows recent announcements for the acquisition of a total of 10 RAT31DL radars for the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece and Turkey. Other similar Fixed Air Defence Radar (FADR) systems have previously been ordered by the Malaysian and Austrian Air Forces.

Radar Antenna Faces Tough Test in Australia

Northrop Grumman Corp. has begun structural testing of the antenna for its Multirole Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar, which the company is producing under contract to The Boeing Co. for the Australian Defence Force's Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.

The antenna is an innovative aperture that provides a 360° azimuth scan with no mechanical rotation. Attached to the top aft section of the fuselage, it consists of an advanced composite structure that supports side-emitting electronic manifold arrays and a 'top hat' end-fire array. Its ultralight construction enables state-of-the-art performance at a fraction of current system weights, thereby allowing additional time on station for the aircraft.

MESA will provide multiple surveillance applications, using pulse Doppler radar forms for air search and pulse forms for maritime surface search. It will also provide, in the same aperture, an integrated civil and military identification friend-or-foe capability.

The 14-month test program is designed to demonstrate compliance with both the static and dynamic strength and fatigue requirements for safety certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Limit loads will be placed on the antenna in order to stress the structure to the design limits that will be encountered by the airframe, a modified Boeing 737-700.

The dynamic testing will simulate 200,000 flight hours. Data reduction and analysis will be completed before the first flight of a MESA-equipped 737, which is scheduled to take place during the second quarter of 2004. The first phase of testing, for static loads, will be completed by June 2003, with the dynamic phase scheduled for completion by April 2004.