International Report

International Cooperation is Set to Raise Standards

Within the framework of the @LIS programme, the European Commission has signed a 3.8 M contract with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) for the promotion of cooperation between Europe and Latin America in the standardisation field. The main objectives being to achieve economies of scale and interoperability between both regions in the information and communication technologies (ICT) field and therefore strengthen commercial and cultural links. The aim is also to foster the integration of Latin American countries into the global Information Society through the adoption of open and global standards.

In line with the objectives of the @LIS programme, ETSI will stimulate a dialogue on standardisation between regional institutions, standards-makers, the private sector, regulators, governments (both national and local), intermediary institutions and stakeholders in Latin America in the ICT field. This dialogue will build on the existing cooperation agreement with the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), which encourages technical cooperation and a joint approach to the dissemination of information in the region.

Key Players Hold the Key to Interface Development

Industry leaders, Ericsson, Huawei, NEC, Nortel Networks and Siemens have announced the creation of a new industry cooperation, the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), which aims to define a publicly available specification for the key internal interface of radio base stations.

The initiative will enable base station manufacturers to focus their research and development efforts on their core competencies and to buy selected radio base station subsystems. Key benefits are faster development when introducing new technologies and allowing base station manufacturers to offer a wider portfolio of products to the operators with shorter time to market. The operators will benefit from a broader choice of products and more flexible solutions, improving the efficiency of network deployment.

The founders of CPRI are committed to opening up a competitive mobile network element component industry and will make the CPRI-interface openly available for the benefit of the wireless industry. The initiative complements current activities in existing standardization organizations (for example, 3GPP). The CPRI-specification is planned to be available this year, with the objective to introduce compatible products on the market by the end of 2004.

Temex Fights Off Competition for Military Contract

Against stiff competition, it has been announced that Temex will supply its ultra stable crystal oscillator products to the German SAR-Lupe satellite reconnaissance project. The contract was awarded by the prime contractor to SAR-Lupe, OHB System AG, who sought tenders from well-known potential suppliers throughout Europe and the US, and selected the company after a rigorous three-month evaluation of products and suppliers.

Key advantages of the Temex ultra stable OCXO technology include a low profile package of less than 30 mm in height and a very good short term stability of 1 ´ 10-12/second. This is a prime requirement of many high performance systems including Doppler radar where short term stability is directly related to accuracy, radar imaging for maximum image resolution, and in positioning systems such as GPS and GalilŽo to enhance co-ordinate resolution and accuracy.

The oscillators will play a key role in SAR-Lupe, which is a system of five satellites plus a ground segment, capable of operating in all weather conditions and during day or night to deliver up-to-date and highly detailed images from virtually all regions of the world. The first satellite is scheduled for launch in 2005 and the system will enter service in 2007.

Polish Framework for Success

In what is a multi-million dollar framework agreement Lucent Technologies has been selected by OSP Polpager, the operator of the SFERIA network, for the expansion and upgrade of its existing wireless network in Warsaw and surrounding areas. This will enable the operator to offer enhanced voice and data services more efficiently and cost-effectively to a wider range of business and residential customers over its CDMA network.

Under the agreement Lucent will deliver and install its CDMA2000 1X modular cell base stations, operating in the 850 MHz band, as well as its 5ESS-based mobile switching centre (MSC). The first phase of the network extension will be completed in summer 2003.

The agreement also includes a significant services and maintenance component in which Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) will provide spare part management, first line maintenance and remote technical support (RTS). Also, SFERIA will join the Base Release Software (BRS) programme and will receive major releases, point releases and software updates as they become available.

Terma and Tenix Reach an Understanding

The Australian and Danish defence contractors, Tenix Defence and Terma, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore collaboration in Australia and elsewhere. The first result of the MoU is a teaming agreement for the Royal Australian Air Force Project AIR5416 - ECHIDNA, for which the Tenix/Terma team will be able to offer a considerable depth of experience in electronic warfare control, utilizing Terma's experience and capabilities in the development and future upgrades of the ECHIDNA electronic warfare system.

The core of the offer will be the electronic warfare controller, the EWC-4000, which comprises a variant of the proven technology of the existing Terma AN/ALQ-213(V) electronic warfare management system, already fielded in RAAF's inventory during the AIR 5391 Phase 6 for the F-111 IEW.

Further teaming may include future surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare programs such as the AIR 5421 Tactical Reconnaissance and Strike Support Program.

Brazilian Market Welcomes Siemens Technology

In Brazil, Siemens is setting up a GSM/EDGE mobile radio network for Telecom AmŽricas. The company is delivering transmit and receive stations as well as microwave systems for the GSM1800 network and is equipping them with EDGE technology.

The order encompasses the GSM mobile network around the metropolis of S‹o Paulo and other Brazilian states. In addition, EDGE is being installed in order to offer customers data transmission rates that are more than 40 times higher than GSM.

Commenting on the contract, Joe Kaeser, board member of the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group, said, "Since June 2000, when the government decided in favour of GSM1800, we have been present in the Brazilian market and have been able to expand our business steadily since then. The most recent decision of the government to continue using the 3G frequencies for the succeeding generations of GSM is a confirmation of our strategy. We're proud to demonstrate the efficiency of our powerful EDGE technology now for the first time in South America, besides the projects in the US and Asia." n