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The Story So Far

As the first half of the year comes to a close, many in the industry are looking forward to the possibility of important product announcements at the World Congress. In the meantime here are some of the new — or enhanced — ideas that have been offered to the cellular, PCS and specifically cdmaOne industry over recent months.

Fitting the bill

SYS1000, from ESI, is an advanced, fourth generation, fully integrated management information and billing system that simultaneously supports cellular, paging, PCS, wireless data, SMR and long-distance wireline services.

The company says that it enables carriers and resellers to provide their customers with a single, individualized invoice that shows separate charges for each type of service. It also allows them to activate multiple services from a single point, and to consolidate customer service support. The SYS1000 software program is available on a service bureau or in-house turnkey basis.

The solution features an open system, distributed processing approach to computing and utilizes intuitive tables, real-time processing and advanced databases. Programs are written in C and C++, and the system can operate in almost any hardware environment. It is, adds ESI, quick and accurate, and is capable of processing 50,000 representative cellular invoices in 58 minutes.

The SYS1000 system is composed of seven base models that control the services offered on a carrier’s system: customer acquisition and customer service; call data management; pricing; billing; collections; finance; and real-time modules.

The informed approach

Lightbridge, Inc., a leading provider of customer acquisition and retention solutions for the global telecommunications industry, has teamed up with business information specialists Dun & Bradstreet to produce the first Wireless Telecommunications Industry Score for businesses.

Wireless telecoms companies can use the score to assess the risk of doing business with new and existing accounts in the United States. The industry-specific tool is based on a statistical model that predicts the likelihood that a company will become severely delinquent (i.e. 90 days or more past due date) in paying its telecommunications bills within 12 months.
The statistical model for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry Score was developed using historical payment performance information on wireless telecommunications carriers from Lightbridge and D&B. The score is supported by the customer acquisition system component of Telesto, Lightbridge’s network of integrated customer acquisition and retention solutions.

Comprising Lightbridge’s credit, fraud, churn, channel and market performance solutions, it provides the industry’s most complete customer management system, according to the company.

The score is driven by D&B’s comprehensive business information, such as the company’s financial status, payment performance and public record of suits, liens and judgements. The score ranges from 101 to 660, and the higher the score, the less risk there is associated with the account.

 

We’ve got it covered

Allen Telecom Systems Division has received FCC type acceptance for its EAC-850, a two-channel CDMA repeater which, says the company, is designed to enhance coverage in focused areas.

Designed and optimized for IS-95 applications, the EAC-850 features a small size and competitive price to provide operators with quick, cost-effective installations on rooftops, utility poles and other sites requiring unobtrusive equipment.

The EAC-850 repeater is described as being ideal for improving coverage in focused areas like tunnels, indoor settings, dense urban sites and sports stadiums. It can also be utilized for adding coverage in CDMA build-outs over an existing analog system, or as a driver to in-building coverage systems.

Analyzing operations

Comarco Wireless Technologies offers a range of CDMA series performance evaluation products that deliver simple but powerful analysis of CDMA network operation. Real-time displays of essential parameters support spectrum clearing, network deployment and performance optimization. Simple representation of complex information highlights performance at a glance, while providing automated collection and analysis of critical CDMA field data.

The products are fully programmable, supporting virtually any call profile on up to four simultaneous calls. All data is time and position stamped with navigation information, while the Cell Site Database eases analysis and problem location. The integral FastScan scanning receiver gathers RF detail from the entire cellular spectrum while offering sub-band CDMA channel scanning.

The NES-250 CDMA is designed for real-time network performance measurement, offering comprehensive information displays coupled with replay and graphical analysis facilities. The GEN-II CDMA benchmarking system provides methodical end-to-end analysis of CDMA network performance, emulating subscriber behavior under actual load conditions.
The Comarco LT100-CDMA, meanwhile, offers top-of-the-range network analysis, with a ‘heads up’ control unit that boasts a direct sunlight viewable color display. The capabilities of the LT100 include an internal CDMA calling module and an integral FastScan sub-band receiver for RF interference analysis. Displays include On Line Call with Ec/Io, PN offset and Cell ID for each finger, Pilot Energy Profile, Neighbor List tracking, Power Control Window and System Statistics. The CDMA Series optionally supports analog network analysis, aiding deployment of dual mode systems.

Right on time

Trimble, a leading GPS company, is to be primary supplier providing CDMA base station clocks to Nortel. Nortel will integrate Trimble’s GPS clock into its cellular base station infrastructure equipment to precisely synchronize voice and data transmissions. The clocks will allow Nortel’s base stations to be synchronized to better than 50 nanoseconds, and the base station frequency to be controlled to fractions of a part per billion.

Scalable solutions

The latest enhancements to the Nortel CDMA portfolio — a more scalable base station Controller (BSC) and a new Desktop Base Station Manager (BSM) — will, says the company, allow even the smallest wireless operators to quickly and cost-effectively address individual market needs on a ‘pay as you grow’ basis.

Nortel's enhanced CDMA BSC and Desktop BSM were introduced at the recent Rural Cellular Association convention and exhibition in Las Vegas.
The Nortel CDMA BSC can cost-effectively support as few as 20 base stations, and can grow as an operator’s requirements change or as capacity needs expand. This gives operators a wider range of starting points for network build-out.

Nortel's CDMA Desktop BSM has a smaller footprint than, and twice the computing power of, first generation models. This can help operators manage network performance parameters more quickly and efficiently. Also available in scalable configurations, Nortel’s "reliable and redundant" CDMA Desktop BSM is ideal for any size network.

Dressed to impress

As communication towers become more of an environmental issue, so methods of disguising them become more of a commercial issue, and, yet again, a South African company is offering a product to do just that.
Envirocom offers a disguise resembling a tree, but a tree that is able to withstand all weather conditions and wind loads of up to 160km/h, which has a life expectancy of 25 years and is from nine to 55 meters high.

Construction is of hot dipped galavanized steel; the bark is of flexible quartz; and leaves are of UV-treated high-density polyethylene. Additional items include a rock or boulder to cover the communications container.

The antenna mounting is on a three meter spine and the cable inlet is through the foundation which is designed for specific soil-bearing pressures. On-site construction and installation can be carried out in one day. The modular sections will fit 40 foot containers for shipping purposes.

Design development

Moffet, Larson and Johnson Inc., the firm of consulting telecommunications engineers, has announced the release of QuikSite 4.1, an upgrade to the company’s rapid preliminary design tool that allows engineers to run multiple radial studies simultaneously and take advantage of the enhanced Snap-To feature which automatically links new sites to existing buildings or structures.
QuikSite 4.1 is a Windows-based program that runs with the same company’s MapInfo, allowing users full access to MapInfo’s "rich mapping features" including layer control and table browsing.

However, using MapInfo’s query features, one can also: tabulate cell and radio channel counts for financial modeling; show how designs change over time; compare design scenarios using alternative engineering assumptions; view base maps shaded according to user-developed wireless telephony market demand projections; and create professional display maps for use in marketing presentations.

A new star?

GEC Plessey Semiconductors (GPS) has launched the Planet chip set, which it claims is the industry’s first antenna-to-baseband chip set for dual band, dual mode PCS CDMA cellular phones. The solution integrates complete functionality for the RF front end and mixed signal interface on to five chips that provide manufacturers with a proven and fully supported route to CDMA handset design. With a combination of intelligent partitioning and comprehensive power-down control circuits, the Planets are claimed to deliver 30 per cent savings in power consumption.

The set is targeted to meet all the requirements of CDMA, which GPS expects to account for 45 per cent of the installed base in the US by 2000.
All of the chips are equipped with power-down control circuits to minimize power consumption in all modes of operation. The set includes the Venus chip, which is an RF front end receiver; Saturn, an IF demodulator; Jupiter, a CDMA and FM filter; Pluto, a baseband and audio interface; and Moon, a dual-band transmit circuit.

The chip set is currently being evaluated by customers and has been shipping in volume since April, at a price of $67.16 in 10k units. It is supported by a worldwide network of applications engineers. GPS also offers extensive evaluation and development platforms including a PC-based emulation and code debug toolkit.

Short support

Canada’s Bell Mobility has chosen Sema Group Telecoms as the supplier of the short message center it will use to help support its digital PCS service this year. The SMS2000 Short Message Service application runs on a Tandem S4000 Integrity UNIX platform. This messaging platform provides access to a wide range of enhanced services ranging from voice mail to the Internet.

Sema Group Telecoms’ Short Message Service Center, the SMS2000, operates on a Bell Mobility Canada cdmaOne network. It acts as a centralized gateway for a number of messaging applications which can be implemented across the entire Bell Mobility network infrastructures.
The messaging platform is based on Sema Group Telecoms’ SMS2000 short messaging application.