Celcore Inc, a Memphis Tennessee-based vendor of analog and digital cellular systems, has developed a small GSM Groupe Special Mobile system based on object-oriented technology for emerging markets and areas of low-density telecommunications traffic and challenging topography. It was launched at the 11th GSM World Congress in Cannes last week. The company claims the slimmed-down system eradicates the need and associated high costs for GSM operators to deploy backhaul facilities and additional switching equipment in order to extend services to rural population centers, without lacking any of the capabilities of larger systems. The system borrows from computing’s client-server model, and object-oriented technology to replace some hardware components of the switching technology, making it cheaper and easier to develop, implement and upgrade than existing systems. Typical price points are below a million dollars, said the company. Celcore says it doesn’t compete directly with the larger GSM system vendors, like Nokia Oy, Motorola Inc and Ericsson Telecom AB, as they operate in the urban, higher cost, higher capacity bracket, where deployment can cost anything between $2.5m and $6m. They do not have systems optimized for small, low density traffic markets, said Steve Chen, marketing vice- president at Celcore. The privately-owned company was established in 1992, and has 180 staff operating out of the US, Canada, Singapore, China, India and Brazil. It has a strategic partnership with Thai telecommunications conglomerate United Communications Inc, UCOM, which has a 10% stake in Celcore and is also a customer for its turnkey projects in South East Asia. Serving as Celcore’s access route to the lucrative South east Asian market, UCOM has recently signed up for 10 cellular systems to be deployed in rural expansion projects. Celcore also has a marketing agreement with Scientific-Atlanta Inc to integrate Celcore’s GSM system with its VSAT technology, with which the two will pursue Wireless Local Loop markets and provide GSM-based basic telephony services in remote and geographically isolated areas.