Northern Ireland’s telecoms expertise and experience are on show this week in France at 3GSM World Congress 2003, the world's landmark mobile communications exhibition.

Four local companies are exhibiting at the event on the Northern Ireland Telecoms Technologies stand organised by Invest Northern Ireland.

The companies, Mivan Ltd, Sugarcube, BKS Surveys Ltd and IPSE Solutions Ltd, are showcasing their innovation and expertise in the fields of wireless network infrastructure, wireless marketing, digital mapping, and telecommunications software. Other NI companies are attending the event as a way of investigating opportunities in the market.

At the exhibition, Belfast company IPSE Solutions is launching its Intelligent Network product portfolio. The product portfolio includes development and service solutions for mobile and fixed-line operators and offers an innovative range of features that allows operators to provide enhanced services, such as pre-paid calls, to customers.

3GSM World Congress 2003 is expected to attract some 24,000 visitors from 148 countries and gives the participating companies an opportunity to promote their products and services to the global wireless industry's key decision makers.

Alan Hingston, Director of Trade in Invest NI comments:” Northern Ireland is well recognised as one of the most competitive areas in Europe for Telecoms development, and this is reflected in the cluster of telecom companies already here. This exhibition gives local companies the chance to demonstrate the innovative approaches they are taking to develop products and services in the area of mobile technology.

“The event also gives the participants the opportunity to reinforce existing relationships with overseas customers, to benchmark their own business models with those of the industry leaders and to generate new business.

“The telecommunications industry still faces challenges but Northern Ireland companies are showing that they have the skills and agility to respond to the changing demands of the industry. The companies taking part on the Northern Ireland stand at 3GSM 2003 are all working at the forefront of their fields and are offering innovative, tailored solutions to the telecommunication market.”

3GSM World Congress 2003 runs from 18h to 21st February, 2003 in Cannes, France.

The companies participating on the Northern Ireland group stand are:

BKS Surveys Ltd, Coleraine
One of Europe’s premier suppliers of digital mapping, BKS supplies the major telecoms operators and manufacturers with geographic data for wireless local loop and micro-cellular planning. An independent spatial data provider, it offers clients existing regional or city datasets from its extensive data library or can customise a dataset for their unique needs.

IPSE Solutions, Belfast
IPSE Solutions is a privately held telecommunications software company offering a portfolio of services, including a multi integrated VPN, all developed on the Protocol Middleware, a development interface for HP OpenCall reducing development time, easing tailoring of services and simplifying implementation of new services.

Mivan Telecoms, Antrim
Mivan Telecoms offers a total turnkey service for wireless network infrastructure rollout. Mivan can provide network operators, infrastructure providers and equipment vendors with technical solutions from pre-licence information through to network maintenance. Mivan Telecoms is currently working on network rollout in the UK for most of the leading players including Orange, Crown Castle and Three.

Sugarcube, Carrickfergus
Sugarcube specialises in wireless marketing solutions and has recently won a contract with Siemens Mobile to produce mobile phone text marketing promotion for the Cricket World Cup. Other clients include: Nokia, British American Tobacco, Visa and Virgin. Sugarcube creates games and content to create awareness and drive sales for their clients. With offices in Ireland, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, the company can carry out projects on a local, regional or worldwide scale.