Cellcom GSM / GPRS Network, Israel
In July 2001 Nokia and Cellcom (an affiliate of BellSouth) signed a contract for the supply of GSM1800 and GPRS infrastructure for Cellcom's network in Israel. Under the agreement, Nokia will deliver a complete GSM1800/GPRS network, which will enable Cellcom to offer its customers mobile services and 'always-connected' access to mobile data. The contract is estimated to cost between $200 million and $250 million.
Cellcom is the biggest mobile operator in Israel, serving more than two million subscribers with nationwide coverage. The company is owned by BellSouth International (34.75%), the Safra group (34.75%), Discount Investments (25%) and other investors (5.5%). Cellcom is planning to launch the GSM/GPRS system in 2002 after testing is complete.
SUPPLYING NETWORK EQUIPMENT
This agreement calls for the supply of core and radio-access network equipment for both GSM and GPRS. This includes GSM mobile-switching centres, home-location registers, network management systems, base-station controllers and base stations, as well as a GPRS core network infrastructure. The GPRS core includes the serving GPRS support node, the gateway GPRS support node, the domain name server, the charging gateway, firewalls and ethernet switches.
Nokia's UltraSite base stations support the demand for higher voice and data traffic in today's mobile networks, as well as the evolution to the mobile internet era. UltraSite base stations can also support GSM, high-speed data, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS for 3G technologies.
In addition, the agreement calls for related professional services including the installation, commissioning and integration of the GSM/GPRS network and a maintenance contract.
One of GSM's great strengths is its international roaming capability, giving consumers a seamless service in about 160 countries. This has been a vital driver in growth, with around 300 million GSM subscribers currently in Europe and Asia.
The GSM base station subsystem (BSS) consists of the base station, base-station controller and transcoder. The main function of the BSS is to connect the mobile subscriber's mobile station (MS) to the GSM network and through this to the mobile switching centre (MSC). The BSS also takes care of the mobility management of the cellular network including, for example, handover management and various measurements. It also establishes a connection to the packet-switched subsystem to enable GPRS.
The GPRS solution is fully internet protocol (IP) compatible and can support mobile internet services such as data transfer, improved WAP services and multimedia messaging. The contracted network is designed for a seamless evolution to UMTS, allowing operators to expand their service offering to 3G.
Cellcom, which launched the first mobile communications service in Israel with its market entry in 1994, has been a leader ever since. It will continue to base and upgrade existing networks while developing communications with intermediate and 3G technology. The shift to the cellular future generation will expand and improve the wide basket of services already available to include new data-communication abilities at higher speeds.
The company believes that Cellcom's long experience in mobile telecommunications, together with Nokia's GSM and GPRS technology, will help maintain Cellcom's leading position in the Israeli market and provide the cornerstone for entering successfully into mobile internet services. The GSM1800/GPRS system will be ready to support enhanced data rates for global evolution (EDGE) and it will supposedly help to ensure a smooth evolution to a 3G system.