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Ericsson, Altobridge partner to meet demand for Radio Base Station Local Switching

Designed to "enable global mobile operators to drive down transmission costs" and to attain a "huge cost-saving impact on community-centric, low-ARPU/high-growth markets" a recent agreement has been signed by Ericsson and Altobridge Ltd, an Irish company specialising in remote wireless communications.

Under the agreement, Altobridge will license its patent-pending Local Connectivity Platform to Ericsson. The latter will be able to provide local switching across its GSM Base Station portfolio. 

The Altobridge solution will also make it possible for calls originating and terminating from the same base station or cluster of base stations to be switched locally in the GSM Radio Network, while the mobile operator's existing call control architecture remains unaffected. This meets the critical requirements of mobile operators, ie, there is no impact on such key areas as subscriber services, subscriber management, network management, and charging. Coupled with what is described as an important breakthrough is an improvement in voice quality for remote subscriber groups previously connected via satellite.

Altobridge CEO, Mike Fitzgerald, stated, "This feature cuts transmission costs on all base stations on any network, but has its most profound effect on the higher cost transmissions traditionally associated with emerging markets. Switching calls as close as possible to subscribers ensures that the ultimate cost of delivering the call is kept to an absolute minimum. The opportunity for Altobridge is to roll out this important technology breakthrough to all mobile operators. Our licensing agreement with...Ericsson, provides a platform for significant market penetration of this technology."

"Currently, wireless network roll-out is concentrated on low-ARPU/ high-growth emerging markets. Traffic analysis within these community-centric markets has deduced that the majority of calls remain local to a particular community. As transmission costs are traditionally greater in such places, the cost of delivering local calls between subscribers ends up being disproportionately high, which prohibits communication roll-out even further. Altobridge's Local Connectivity Platform addresses this very cost and removes it. The significant improvement in voice quality for remote subscriber groups, eg, when satellite is used, is also a vital factor in improving the quality of communication for the hugely important, emerging market segment," Mike Fitzgerald concluded.  

Dick Spring, Chairman of Altobridge and former Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland, stated: "At a time when the GSM Association has just announced an initiative to drive US$50 billion of investment by the telecoms industry into delivering rural mobile communications to isolated communities across Africa over the next five years, this partnership could not have come at a more important time."

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