From Bahia to Beijing
In this issues round-up of recent news: Brazilian boost for fixed and mobile applications; breakthrough in Russia; Asian activity intensifies; and is a dual mode digital handset on the way?
Bringing CDMA to Brazil
With these in mind, it is useful to have made an early impression on the market and thats exactly what have NEC do Brasil S.A. has done. The company and the Brazilian telecommunications operator Telecomunicacoes da Bahia S.A. (Telebahia) have signed a contract to deploy the first CDMA cellular mobile system in the Brazilian market. The system will have an initial capacity of 25,000 subscribers and will serve Salvador, the capital city of the state of Bahia.
This contract has been quickly followed by another, this time between NEC do Brasil S.A. and the Brazilian Telecommunications operator Telecomunicacoes do Rio de Janeiro S.A. (Telerj). It calls for deployment of a digital cellular system based on IS-95 CDMA technology with an initial capacity of 150,000 in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro. The demand for cellular telephones in the state of Rio de Janeiro is estimated to be about 1.8 million people.
In the same market, a fixed wireless solution has recently been trialed.
Qualcomm and Telebahia have begun subscriber testing of Qualcomms
cdmaOne wireless local loop (WLL) system, also in Salvador.
Telebahia, an 800 MHz wireless operator in the region, has
installed a Qualcomm CDMA system for trial purposes.
Over the following 45 days, these users have had Qualcomm wireless local loop phones installed in their homes for evaluation and testing. The end users will participate in the process of evaluating the vendors who intend to supply WLL systems to the Brazilian market.
Its participation in this test program will, Qualcomm hopes, lead to the certification of the Company's cdmaOne wireless local loop products for commercial use in Brazil.
A Digital Double?
This news may not prove a major surprise to many observers,
however. A number of Qualcomm-related projects have already explored
areas of compatibility between the two systems, most notably, as Doug
Dwyre of Globalstar explained, in the plans for his companys own
global mobile satellite system.
Samsung Chips In
The rapid growth of Samsung CDMA-based products and systems, and the worldwide demand for advanced services required Samsung's participation in the standardization effort. Samsung has also gained substantial experience from its IS-95 system development and deployments with ETRI (Electronics and Telecom-munications Research Institute) in Korea.
The first system applications of the proposed specifications are expected to go into commercial operation by the year 2000. Operators in South Korea, Japan, China, Latin America, and the U.S. already have expressed interest in adopting this new third generation wireless technology.
Samsung is also one of three Korean wireless communications equipment manufacturers now including Lucent Technologies digital signal processor (DSP)-based compression and decompression (codec) technology in their CDMA wireless phones and base stations.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Hyundai Electronics Industries Co Ltd, and LG Information & Communications, Ltd (LGIC the three major vendors of CDMA equipment in Korea are manufacturing their new CDMA phones with Lucents DSP1627 chip and Enhanced Variable Rate Codec (EVRC) software. LGIC and Hyundai are also using Lucents EVRC chip in their CDMA wireless base stations. EVRC is a new global standard for compressing and decompressing voice signals.
In a CDMA phone, Lucents EVRC chip can serve as a coprocessor, interfacing with CDMA chip sets from other manufacturers. As a result, manufacturers can use the chip to add EVRC capability to their existing terminal designs with minimal re-engineering.
The Lucent chip comes equipped with all of the necessary software to enable EVRC. The Korean manufacturers will be supplying their EVRC-based products to Korean wireless service providers such as SK Telecom, the countrys top wireless service provider.
The initial deployment of CDMA infrastructure equipment in Surabaya, East Java Indonesia's second largest city is planned for completion by the end of this year. PT Telkom plans to expand the system to provide extensive coverage to the city of Surabaya and its surrounding areas.
The investments will amount to $171million in 1997 and $115million in 1998. Telefonicas goal is to reach one million wireless communications subscribers by the end of 2000. It predicts that it will reach 300,000 subscrubers by the end of 1997, which will provide the company with a 70% market share. According to Telefonica, 12,000 subscribers already use CDMA technology.
Canada and Beyond
North America-wide roaming on analog and digital CDMA networks that cover more than 95 per cent of the population is offered aided by dual-mode handsets by Sony and Qualcomm that work on both the 1-9 GHz digital PCS network and the analog cellular network.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, British Columbia, Clearnet Communications Inc has launched Clearnet PCS, a national Personal Communications Services network which offers national coverage from the outset and like the Bell Mobility service, plans U.S. roaming on dual mode phones. Pure digital PCS service is available in the greater metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, but Clearnet PCS phones actually work everywhere traditional analog cellular phones work in Canada and, thanks to a roaming agreement with Sprint PCS, should ultimately offer clients the ability to roam and use their PCS phones in all 50 US states, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Looking further ahead, Telus Mobility, Alberta's leading supplier of wireless voice and data communications, plans to bring advanced digital PCS to the province beginning in mid-1998 under a multi-year supply agreement with Nortel.
Valued at $CDN40 million (US$28.5 million) for the first year, the agreement includes cdmaOne digital wireless network equipment and services.
China Roaming Tests
The tests, the first to be completed in China, were conducted jointly with China Telecom Great Wall Network, a cooperative entity between the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and China Electronic System Engineering Company (CESEC). Motorola CIGs CDMA network in Beijing is the first to complete network roaming tests with the three other CDMA trial systems being tested in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xian.
In the same market, China's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
(MPT) has awarded Motorola CIG a $10 million contract for its new rapid
deployment wireless local loop systems for use throughout China.
The mobility of an RDV enables service providers in China to deliver a cellular system to a remote location and immediately begin providing temporary service for special events, network expansions and emergency services, for example.
The RDV is a self-contained wireless local loop system. Integrated into the RDV system is a Network Interface Unit that provides local switching and connects the RDV directly into a landline network.
At the CDMA European Regional Congress in London recently, Igor Karalyev of Rostov briefly outline the history of the network, on which the first call came only 42 days after installation began. The mobile application of the system is being studied too, he pointed out and there are even negotiations in train for a Russian CDMA association.