Anritsu ‘globalization’ strategy will link worldwide services, products Tokyo-based Anritsu has announced a “globalization” strategy to link the operations, technologies, products and services of the company’s 54 worldwide locations. Enhanced product development, responsive customer service and improved distribution are among the objectives.
The strategy was unveiled at a September news conference in Jersey City, NJ.
“This strategy stresses our new motto, ‘A global company with a local face,'” said Anritsu chairman Yoshiteru Ishii.
“The benefit of the strategy is quick response to customer needs and the confidence that comes from dealing with a company that can apply global resources to local business and market conditions,” Ishii said.
Mark Evans, president of the company’s North American Measurements Group in Morgan Hill, CA, explained that Anritsu uses local engineering groups to boost responsiveness to individual customer requirements. “At the division level, equipment designers look at the overall market,” he explained. “Local engineering groups help us to meet specific customer requirements that might not be ‘designed in’ at the division level.”
Evans’ group includes three divisions, Microwave Measurements, Telecommunications and Anritsu Manufacturing. The group previously was called Anritsu Wiltron. Wiltron was acquired by Anritsu in 1990. As an example of the new strategy’s global concurrent engineering, Evans’ group already has developed three products with sister organizations in Japan and England, the MT8801B radio communications analyzer, the IS-136 option for the product, and the ML2430A-series power meters.
New trunking protocol for wide-area dispatch networking draws support from several radio manufacturers
In a show of industry unity, companies that would otherwise be seen as competitors in the SMR marketplace have agreed to adopt a common enhanced trunking protocol to succeed the LTR format. The announcement was made at the AMTEX ’97 conference in Orlando, FL, on Nov. 6, 1997.
The Passport NTS trunking protocol, developed by Trident Micro Systems, Arden, NC, supports wide-area networking and seamless roaming between networked sites with automatic registration and de-registration for user radios. The protocol features selective calling, telephone interconnect and security from theft, and it is backward compatible with LTR.
Passport supports a dual-protocol operating environment, which simplifies the migration path for radio users and operators who are upgrading existing systems.
Passport radios use direct frequency assignment to determine their operating frequency. The assignments are made over-the-air by the system infrastructure. Changes in the system or network configurations do not require that all radios using a given system be reprogrammed, such as with the standard LTR operating environment.
The protocol is an enhanced version, supporting 60,000 individual user ID codes per system and 7.5 million roamer ID codes per network. The amount of user ID codes is the yield from the mobile identity number (MIN) and group IDs (GRP-ID), 16-bit assignments.
The protocol also features auto registration when roaming from system to system. Because each radio has a unique MIN, the radio is recognized by the new system and is registered automatically onto the network. Dispatch and interconnect calls intended for the radio will be forwarded to its new location.
Trident Micro Systems will provide free licenses to qualified radio manufacturers. Rhett Grotzinger, vice president, said, “This protocol is going to allow today’s SMR to stay competitive with other forms of wireless communications.”
Companies that have adopted the Passport trunking protocol: * Kenwood, Long Beach, CA. * Ritron, Carmel, IN. * Standard Communications, Torrance, CA. * SEA, Mountlake Terrace, WA.
RAM Mobile Data offers industry-specific, ‘entry-level’ data dispatch Field service, transportation, utility and cable TV companies can take advantage of a wireless data dispatch solution intended for entry-level use. The solution, from RAM Mobile Data, Woodbridge, NJ, includes dispatching software, communications hardware and wireless airtime service. The company operates a network of packet data base stations on specialized mobile radio (SMR) frequencies across the country.
The software has pre-defined message fields and free-form, two-way messaging with date-stamped message acknowledgments. The hardware is a palm-size, two-way wireless communications device, called an Interactive Pager, with a QWERTY keyboard. Airtime is provided on RAM’s network.
Three industry-specific plans are: * Transportation_pick-up and delivery. Pager rental and about 560 messages for $65 per user, per month. * Computer and office automation field service_event management. Pager rental and about 640 messages for $70 per month. * Utility and cable TV field service_customer response. Pager rental and about 800 messages for $75 per month.
Using the cable TV industry as an example, here is what two companies currently use: Jack Fulton, dispatcher and warehouse manager for American Telecasting of Toledo, OH, said his company uses a combination two-way radio, cellphone and pager provided by Nextel Communications, McLean, VA. Although the field technician can use the cellphone feature to call the next customer scheduled for service, Fulton prefers that technicians use the two-way radio feature to call him, and then he calls the next customer. The procedure creates a useful record at the dispatch office and saves a cellphone airtime charge. Fulton can use the pager feature to alert an on-call technician and send alphanumeric text messages giving details about the required service.
Steve Metzger, master control technician for Time Warner-owned Paragon Cable, Portland, OR, said Paragon’s private wireless system has two channels for voice and one channel for data. Technicians carry hand-held mobile data terminals that can be mounted in their trucks to connect with vehicle-mounted radios for wireless communications. A vehicle location system that uses the Global Positioning System plots truck locations on an electronic map for the dispatcher.
“We’re trying to get signature capture so the customer’s signature can appear in the system electronically,” Metzger said. “We already have eliminated a lot of paperwork.”
Klakamas Communications, a dealer in Portland, handles some of the installation, maintenance and repair for the Paragon system, which has three repeaters, including one voting repeater with two satellite receivers and one repeater for data.
Celwave and Raytheon E-Systems announce alliance for DSP sales Celwave, Marlboro, NJ, and Raytheon E-Systems, Falls Church, VA, have agreed to a strategic alliance to sell Raytheon Precision Spectrum products digital signal processing platforms as an extension and enhancement of the Celwave Smart System product line, and to jointly develop advanced, integrated versions of both product lines. The companies plan to demonstrate digital AMPS time-division multiple-access (TDMA) versions in the coming months.
Chadmoore Wireless SMR service activations reach 125th market Chadmoore Wireless Group, Las Vegas, activated specialized mobile radio (SMR) service in 45 additional markets throughout the United States in November 1997, raising the total number of markets to 125. The population base for those markets exceeds 35 million.
“Our strategy is to serve analog, one-to-many, dispatch communications, at a fixed cost to the small- and medium-size businesses in secondary and tertiary markets,” said Jan Zwaik, chief operating officer. “Typically, these businesses cannot afford the $70 per month, per unit, cost that other wireless providers charge for the latest ‘gidgets and gadgets.’ We believe our customers are telling us that they should be offered a choice of services and service providers to meet their business objectives.”
Glenayre offers paging agent program to service shops, dealers Glenayre Technologies, Charlotte, NC, seeks two-way radio service shops and dealers to become sales agents for the company’s paging transmitters and terminals. Phil Johnson, a Glenayre vice president in charge of the sales agent program, said that sophisticated dealers with experience representing Motorola, Ericsson and Johnson two-way radio equipment, among others, have the expertise to install and service on-premises paging systems. He said many customers base equipment choices on local service, not branding.
By offering an agent program for service shops, Glenayre can target non-traditional customers such as hospitals, government agencies and industrial complexes. In turn, sales agents gain access to the company’s technical and sales forces.
For information about the program, telephone Johnson at 704-553-0038.
Gabriel Electronics relocates eastern region sales office Gabriel Electronics has relocated its Eastern Region Sales Office from Hagerstown, MD, to Camp Hill, PA. The new address for Gabriel’s Camp Hill complex is: Gabriel Electronics, 3920 Market St., Camp Hill, PA 17011; telephone 717-972-1295; fax 717-972-1297; email: [email protected]
Robert Peckrul manages Gabriel’s eastern region sales operation that is responsible for accounts in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.
Racal Antennas makes play for PCS base station antenna market Racal Antennas, Mineral Wells, TX, a unit of Racal Electronics Group, Reading, Berkshire, UK, expects to launch a campaign perhaps in December 1997 or January 1998 involving a number of “special use” antennas for the personal communications systems (PCS) market.
Racal opened a $2 million development and manufacturing site in Mineral Wells in August 1997 to supply PCS base station antennas. More than 25 people initially were employed at the facility, which began operating with a capacity of making about 2,000 antennas per month.
Tony Martin, vice president of marketing at Racal Antennas, explained that the company had not provided many antennas for the first phase of PCS system buildout, which he described as network construction intended to cover the cores of cities. “We’re hoping the plant in Texas will allow us to be more aggressive,” Martin said, referring to providing antennas for phase-two PCS network construction that includes suburbs and highway corridors.
Martin explained that PCS carriers increasingly are using dual-slant polarization antennas, a product that Racal helped to pioneer in Europe about six years ago. He estimated that as many as eight companies now offer that type of antenna.
Dual-slant polarization uses antenna elements slanted at 45 degree angles from the vertical, forming two antennas within one radome, which reduces installation size and cost by about 50%, Martin explained. He estimated that perhaps 10%-15% of PCS network engineers still use vertically polarized antennas, but, he said, “Most everyone has bought into dual-slant polarization. The use really is driven by zoning issues. It is much easier to get dual-slant antennas accepted. Vertical polarization typically uses a tower with a delta at top and two or three antennas on each side of the delta. Dual-slant shrinks that down to one antenna per side.”
Martin said the PCS base antenna market is particularly good because of the density of base station placement, which he said is at least three times denser than cellular and often even denser than that. The reason is the higher frequency and lower power used by PCS compared to cellular.
Ericsson PRS transfers some employees, lays off others Ericsson Private Radio Systems (PRS), Lynchburg, VA, a division of LM Ericsson, Stockholm, notified an estimated 270 workers in September 1997 that some would be transferred to the company’s Wireless division and others would be laid off. Ralph Brush, director, Business Development and Strategic Programs at the private radio division, said about 70% of 170 full-time Ericsson employees were likely to be transferred to the Wireless division, which manufactures cellular and personal communications service (PCS) handsets and base station equipment. Continuing work at Ericsson for 100 part-time employees and contractors is uncertain.
“We have staffed up over the past five years heavily,” Brush said. “Because of Project 25, TETRA, and deregulation of the investor-owned utility companies, our orders rate is not what we expected it to be. Uncertainty and delays connected with Project 25, TETRA and deregulation are causing postponements in orders.” Project 25 is the U.S. digital radio standard-setting effort for public safety radio; TETRA (Trans-European Trunked Radio) is a similar European effort for public safety and private digital mobile radio. Consideration of TETRA as a possible additional U.S. standard has added to the uncertainty. Among utility companies, deregulated electric utilities in particular are undergoing changes, including mergers and sales of power generation facilities, that delay their long-term plans.
Employment at Ericsson’s Lynchburg, VA, facility rose from about 1,600 in 1993 to about 3,000 in 1997, largely because manufacturing has increased for cellular handsets and cellular and PCS base stations that use the AMPS and D-AMPS standards. Ericsson makes all of its AMPS and D-AMPS equipment in Lynchburg for worldwide delivery. With sales of such equipment rising rapidly, Brush said the company is fortunate to be able to transfer many of the PRS division employees to the Wireless division.
“We’re fortunate to have contra-cyclical businesses,” he said. “We think the private radio business will come back.” Brush said that Ericsson PRS sales mostly consist of trunked dispatch systems. “That’s where our expertise is,” he said, “especially the multisite and simulcast systems. We’re seeing more activity internationally, now, than in North America. We’re trying to take advantage of that.”
Sales of Ericsson’s conventional two-way radio product line play no role in the Lynchburg transfers and layoffs because, with the exception of a “high-end public safety product” that could be used in a conventional mode, all of those products are manufactured offshore.
Midland, RoameR One announce partnership for 220MHz service A partnership to combine hardware, network services and wireless channel access at 220MHz was announced in November 1997 by RoameR One, Torrance, CA, and Midland USA, Kansas City, MO. The two companies are subsidiaries of Intek Diversified, Princeton, NJ.
RoameR One operates 220MHz networks, specialized mobile radio (SMR) repeaters and sells equipment and airtime. The company operates more than 1,300 channels in 127 U.S. cities with a population coverage of about 165 million. Midland USA, primarily noted for its distribution network, dealer sales and support of FM two-way radio equipment, is increasing its involvement in the SMR market. The partnership will package RoameR One’s airtime service network with Midland USA’s linear modulation (LM) narrowband trunked voice and data mobile equipment. Software support comes from Data Express, Garden Grove, CA.
The alliance was announced in a four-state demonstration tour for prospective end-users and dealers. The airtime service is available for a flat monthly rate, as opposed to enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) and cellular programs that charge a base rate plus minutes used. The first four markets for the program will be Los Angeles, Phoenix-Tucson, Minneapolis and Kansas City, MO. Two more markets, Cleveland and Buffalo, NY, will be added in January, said Scott Henderson, RoameR One’s vice president of sales and marketing.
“Together, we are able to develop reliable, cost-effective integrated voice and data solutions that will create new possibilities for construction, courier, local trucking, delivery, taxi and a variety of other service business applications,” Henderson said.
The LM technology, acquired by Intek Diversified in 1996, can transmit digital, analog, voice data and graphics all in 5kHz of bandwidth. The system’s digital capability offers improved audio clarity, text messaging, computer-aided dispatch and automatic vehicle location. The software can also generate reports and recreate routes traveled by a vehicle.
Kevin Burke, of Data Express, told prospective users during the demonstrations that return on investment was a key aspect of the program. “We believe we can save up to one hour per day per employee in productivity,” Burke said, representing a savings of as much as $6,500 per year per employee.