The core of a second manufacturing consortium to challenge the Racal-Plessey Orbitel joint venture in digital cellular has been formed by the teaming of Alcatel NV with Nokia of Finland and AEG of West Germany. The consortia, formed to develop and build the equipment for the proposed pan-European digital cellular telephone network for the 1990s at present leaves a leading player in the current gen-eration technology, Motorola Inc, out in the cold. Last week, Motorola announced a establishment of a European Cellular Group R&D Centre in Hitchin, Hertfordshire (CI No 795). The Orbitel consortium is expected to be joined by Siemens, Matra and GEC – and perhaps by Telit or by Italtel if Fiat is serious about pulling Telettra out of the merger. The Alcatel consortium says it will invest $100m on research and development between now and 1991.
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