25 March 2009

Smiths Interconnect wins $10m of contracts for mobile phone network tester

SMITHS Interconnect, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, has gained orders worth over $10 million from some of the world’s largest telecommunications providers to supply advanced portable testing devices for mobile phone base stations. 

The devices, which measure passive intermodulation (PIM), identify poor quality components and connections that can cut the capacity of a base station.  Such problems can cause lower data rates and dropped or failed calls on mobile phones and other wireless devices, costing network operators significant revenue and annoying customers..

This issue will become increasingly important as the frequency spectrum becomes more congested with operators rolling out next generation networks to achieve even higher data rates to support broadband wireless applications.

The PIM testers were developed by Brisbane-based wireless communications equipment manufacturer Triasx, which Smiths Interconnect acquired in July 2008. Following successful trials, one major US network operator has carried out a nationwide testing programme using the products.   Contracts have also been signed with European and Australian companies.  

Ralph Phillips, President, Smiths Interconnect, said: “This is a very exciting product that effectively sells itself by helping our customers, the network operators, gain more capacity and higher data rates.  In fact an operator with one of the fastest wireless networks in the world mandates the use of these products by its technicians.”

“In acquiring Triasx, we recognised the potential value of combining this innovative portable technology with our channels to market, particularly our Summitek business in the US.  But the level of demand has exceeded even our expectations. In addition, the relationships we are developing with the network operators provide opportunities for our other wireless infrastructure solutions such as lightning protection, complex filtering and tower mounted amplifiers.”