Successful IS-136 testing with Nokia, Oki Telecom brings PCS one step closer for Northern Telecom TDMA digital cellular operators

March 9, 1995

DALLAS - Cellular telephone service providers around the world using Northern Telecom Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technology are one step closer to offering their subscribers advanced personal communications services (PCS) using the new IS-136 digital cellular air interface standard.
Northern Telecom is the first manufacturer to complete Phase I and II interoperability testing between its cellular base station radio equipment and an IS-136 digital cellular handset with a 100 percent success rate.

IS-136 enhances the existing IS-54 800 MHz TDMA digital cellular standard, as established by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), to include a Digital Control Channel (DCC).

"The IS-136 digital standard will provide the services and capacity to carry us well into the 21st century," said John C. McQueen of REALOGIC, and project manager for the TDMA Forum.

"Northern Telecom's successful testing with Oki Telecom and Nokia marks the end of bench and laboratory testing, and the beginning of exhaustive field testing in Phase III," McQueen said. "And with nearly half a million paying TDMA subscribers, we're not lacking for candidates to try new services."

"Digital Control Channel will enable cellular operators to deliver personal communications services like sleep mode and preferential service areas to subscribers with IS-136 mobile telephones," said Hermon Pon, assistant vice president, Wireless Systems, Northern Telecom.

Sleep mode will allow IS-136 mobile telephones to conserve battery power by reducing the amount of time required to receive and interpret control channel information. Preferential service areas will allow service providers to offer tiered billing to IS-136 cellular handset users operating in residential or office environments.

The interoperability tests included both analog and digital calls, originated from and terminated to IS-136 handsets from Nokia and Oki Telecom via Northern Telecom's DualMode base station radio channel equipment.