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Highlands And Islands Get Superhighway

The global superhighway has been extended into the Highlands and Islands of Scotland for the first time, thanks to telecoms technology being supplied to ScottishTelecom by Marconi Communications of Coventry.

The project, part of a multi-million pound supply contract, is putting high capacity equipment - capable of handling more than 30,000 simultaneous calls - right through to the remotest areas of northern Scotland, as well as via radio links to the Shetlands, Orkney, the Western Isles and Argyll.

Marconi Communications, a European leader in broadband transmission systems and networks integration, is supplying its world-leading, Coventry-built SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) transmission equipment and network management system.

The equipment forms part of a £35 million new network extension stretching 1,300 kilometres from ScottishTelecomís existing network in Aberdeen, through Inverness to Thurso, Kirkwall and Lerwick; from Inverness to

Stornoway, and from Inverness south to ScottishTelecomís existing network in the Firth of Clyde.

Rod Smith, Coventry-based regional managing director of Marconi Communications, said: A world-class telecoms infrastructure is now vital to economic development, and this major investment by ScottishTelecom paves the way for businesses throughout the Highlands and Islands to share information and transmit large volumes of data and images quickly, reliably and easily.

These are benefits which are not only of particular significance to the offshore oil industry but to every business and household throughout the Highlands and Islands.

The remainder of the ScottishTelecom network is also being upgraded comprehensively to cater for significant increases in the volume of traffic being handled in Scotland and North West England, where the company provides telecommunications services in the Manweb electricity region.

Marconi Communications is supplying additional System X digital switches to expand the existing ScottishTelecom network in Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as a System X exchange in Warrington.

Marconi Communications is headquartered in Coventry and is a world leader in smart broadband transmission and network integration. It was formed by the merger of GPT Limited, Marconi SpA, GEC Hong Kong and other businesses wholly owned by GEC, a global manufacturer of intelligent electronic systems.

MORE INFORMATION: Marconi Communications Press Office 0115 9433687

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CWN / Business / Newswire / Marconi / 21 Dec 98

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