Latin America Turns on Inter-technology Roaming

LONDON (03/02/2000) - South American mobile phone users can now use a dual-mode handset to roam between GSM (Global Systems for Mobile Communications) mobile phone networks and TDMA (time division multiple access) ANSI-41 networks, making and receiving calls without the need to use call forwarding services or enter PIN codes.

The service, which allows users to roam between the GSM networks of Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones SA (Entel) of Chile and the TDMA networks of Maxitel SA of Brazil, was launched this week, according to a statement from Logica PLC, the U.K. system integration company which supplied the software behind the service.

Logica was engaged by Telecom Italia Mobile SpA (TIM) to develop the service.

TIM's parent company, Telecom Italia SpA, owns a 20 percent stake in Entel and a substantial shareholding in Maxitel.

The South American market has been a challenge for roaming calls because of the lack of a single standard, Logica said. Some operators have adopted the ANSI-41 standard, while others have adopted the GSM standard, the company said.

Logica, in London, can be reached at +44-20-7637-9111, or on the Web at http://www.logica.com/. Telecom Italia Mobile, in Rome, can be reached on the Web at http://www.tim.it/.

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