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August 2, 1988

CELLNET PICKS MOTOROLA FOR ITS DIGITAL CELLULAR EQUIPMENT

By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc’s Cellnet cellular telephony venture with Securicor Group Plc has gone out on a limb in its choice of supplier for digital cellular equipment, spurning all the European consortia in favour of unaligned Motorola Inc. Motorola is already a supplier of analogue equipment for the Cellnet network, but GEC Plc had high hopes that Cellnet would go for an adaptation of System X for the digital market. Other losers in the bidding were Orbitel Mobile Communications Ltd, Siemens AG, L M Ericsson Telefon AB and Nokia Oy. Cellnet’s UK rival, Racal Vodafone has already opted for equipment from Orbitel and Ericsson. Motorola, already committed to doubling jobs at its Stotfield, Hertfordshire plant to 1,000, says it will probably double employment there again when the orders start coming through. Its prospects for business in the rest of Europe are however much less rosy: continental PTTs traditionally favour their national champions wherever possible.

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