WORLD BRIEFS

Globalstar L.P. announced at a signing ceremony it has placed purchase orders by the partners that comprise Globalstar’s limited partnership for 35 Globalstar gateways to be installed around the world. The contracts, totaling approximately $275 million, represent a further commitment by the Globalstar partners to have operational gateways ready to provide Globalstar service in the last quarter of 1998. The first four gateways are nearing completion in Aussaguel, France; Yeoju, South Korea; Dubbo, Australia; and Clifton, Texas. Qualcomm Inc. is responsible to produce and install the antennas, radio-frequency and interconnection electronics for the gateways, Globalstar noted.

Meridian Wireless Technologies Inc. and Optimay GmbH have signed a strategic agreement that will allow Meridian to incorporate Optimay’s advanced Global System for Mobile communications protocol and graphical user interface software into its GSM phones. The alliance offers phone manufacturers a one-stop, quick-to-market solution for GSM cellular and personal communications services phones. Meridian provides comprehensive development services for low-cost Advanced Mobile Phone Service and GSM-based phone platforms that are customized to customers’ tastes including appearance, features and weight. Optimay provides GSM software technology that has successfully been through the stringent full type approval and field test procedures three times. The union of the two companies will provide Meridian with the ability to offer its customers proven software at competitive prices and Optimay with the benefit of acquiring licensing arrangements from Meridian’s growing customer base of major cellular phone manufacturers, the companies said.

Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo (Telesp) will purchase cellular network infrastructure equipment from Northern Telecom Ltd. Nortel values the agreement at $50 million. The Advanced Mobile Phone Service infrastructure equipment will be used to provide service in Guarulhos, Rio Claro and Sao Joao da Boa Vista. The new networks are expected to provide service to 150,000 subscribers.

Millicom International Cellular S.A.’s Bolivian subsidiary, Telefonica Cellular de Bolivia S.A., won an expansion of its license from the Republic of Bolivia. The expansion allows Telecel to cover an additional six states in Bolivia. The expanded areas include Sucre, Oruro and Potosi, three of Bolivia’s largest cities. Millicom said Telecel’s license now covers Bolivia’s entire population of 7.2 million people.

Telekomunikacja Polska S.A., Poland’s national telecommunications company, will use Northern Telecom Ltd.’s Proximity fixed wireless access equipment in its Zamosc region. The initial network will include capacity for 1,300 subscribers, with capacity for more than 12,000 subscribers to be added throughout the next few years. Proximity uses digital microwave to link businesses and residences to the public switched telephone network.

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