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  1. Technology
November 20, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

As the Department of Trade & Industry decides on which Telepoint licence applications will be successful, prime contenders Ferranti Creditphone Ltd seems increasingly determined to profit from its early investment into Telepoint technology. Manchester based Ferranti Creditphone is pledging to support users of its ZonePhone equipment after the introduction of the Common Air Interface, and maintains that whatever the Department’s decision – applicants are currently being interrogated – it will co operate with other Telepoint operators. If its own Zone Phone is rejected, Ferranti Creditphone will make its handset and public base stations available to any successful applicants; the company says it has been approached by rivals seeking to form a consortium, and has received requests from firms eager to be supplied with its equipment. In addition, it has been involved in detailed negotiations with all of the other 10 contenders, and is open to discuss deals with any potential operator, although the extent of any agreements will depend on which other company is involved. Ferranti Creditphone is also confident that the Common Air Interface working group’s choice of air parameters has assured interference-free operation for Ferranti, and that Phone Zone’s air parameters will allow subsequent users to dovetail into the Common Air Interface – when it eventually arrives – and, in effect, provide a dual system. Telephone Rentals – still subject to a takeover bid from another applicant for a Telepoint licence, Cable & Wireless – holds a 13.5% share of Libera Development, the company that developed Ferranti’s Telepoint offering; it claims its own telecommunications experience will strengthen Ferranti Creditphone’s bid. The Royal Bank of Scotland is the other major shareholder in Libera Development. The Department should grant licences early in the New Year, but as yet, no decision has been made as to whether two, three or four will be awarded.

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