STC Plc has finally decided to get into the terminal end of the cellular radio mobile telephone market and will begin marketing a product resulting from a joint agreement with ‘a Japanese company’ in March. STC is working in the belief that a pan-European digital cellular system will not materialise until well into the 1990s; it has therefore designed with its unspecified Japanese partner an analogue cellular phone that can be used both as a car phone featuring hands-free operation as standard with microphone incorporated into the handset, and as a transportable. STC reckons that the number of subscribers – currently 120,000 – in the UK will at least double in 1987 and is flaunting the new product, called the Europafone, as the forthcoming analogue standard. It will be distributed in the UK by Richmond-based Europa Telecommunications Ltd, which is an airtime supplier for both the Vodafone and the Cellnet networks, and also leases phones. STC’s Communications Terminals division also plans to manufacture the phones in the UK.
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