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Orbitel, the joint venture on digital cellular radio between Racal, Plessey and now also L M Ericsson, has agreed that Ericsson will supply switching equipment for the forthcoming digital pan-European cellular network. Plessey, which hopes to merge all its telecommunications activities including cellular radio with those of GEC, is talking to Ericsson on a number of possibilities for collaboration in the telecommunications market, including 565Mbps transmission systems for fibre optic switching applications. Plessey also announced a joint venture deal with Italtel in August for joint development and marketing of private telephone and switching equipment and is in discussions with Jeu- mont-Schneider of France for a similar joint marketing deal and hope to announce its conclusion sometime this month. Plessey has made it clear that it is now actively seeking alliances and joint ventures with other companies worldwide to gain market share in its telecommunications and other businesses worldwide but both Plessey and GEC denied yesterday’s report in The Guardian, which indicated that they were to begin official negotiations in December on a combination of their UKP1,200m joint venture with Ericsson Telekom and Italtel.

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