News Release

Tuesday, August 5


An exhibition of the most advanced wireless technology ever to be seen in Scotland was launched today (Tuesday 5th August) at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Scottish Enterprise has been instrumental in bringing this technology to Scotland with assistance from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), Japan's biggest telecoms firm, working in partnership with the EICC and BT.

The exhibition will give visitors to the EICC the opportunity to experience data-transfer and connection speeds of more than 50 times faster than normal dial-up speeds - without the need for wires.

Users who have a wireless-enabled laptop or PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) will be able to send and receive e-mails, browse the web and securely access their own company intranet sites if available - demonstrating the benefits of broadband and wireless technology.

EICC visitors will have the opportunity to experience the most widely used wireless technologies, in the form of 802.11b, provided and installed by BT. This will be contrasted with the wireless technology of the future, in the form of 802.11a and HiperLAN2 solutions, being supplied and installed by NTT. The exhibition will demonstrate in a hot spot area the difference in data transfer and connection speeds between the three technologies.

This demonstration is part of the Scottish Enterprise Broadband for Business Programme, which aims to educate and raise awareness of the business benefits achievable with broadband technology.

Charlie Watt, senior director of e-business at Scottish Enterprise, spoke at the launch. He said: "This exhibition capitalises on Scotland's growing expertise in wireless technology and recognises Scotland as a centre of excellence in this field.

"It is extremely pleasing that such a major player in the world's telecoms industry, NTT, has chosen Scotland for this exhibition - it is a welcome opportunity to showcase Scotland's wireless expertise on a world stage."

NTT has provided some of the world's most forward thinking wireless equipment and the technical expertise and back-up to support the installation of this equipment.

Kazuyoshi Tateishi, Executive Director, Information Sharing Laboratory Group from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, said: "This exhibition is of great significance since it is the first time that 5GHz-band wireless LAN systems are demonstrated in a practical environment in Europe."

"In Japan, broadband population exceeds 10 million and hot spot services using wireless LAN technology have been deployed on a commercial basis. Intercarrier roaming and content delivery services are now growing rapidly.

"Our main purpose is to promote the 5GHz-band wireless LAN technology developed by NTT Laboratories, especially the HiperLAN2 technology that is a common standard in both Europe and Japan. We expect that a greater number of visitors to the EICC will experience wireless broadband and become aware of the benefit."

EICC Chief Executive Hans Rissmann commented: "The introduction of cutting-edge wireless technology is extremely important to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC).

"The Centre has forged a reputation over the last eight years of being at the forefront of new developments and this is one of the most important to date.

"Our delegates will be able to move seamlessly around the building and stay in touch with their office via wireless access to the internet. However more importantly, they will have a glimpse of the future with two additional demonstration networks. These new networks will mean greater numbers of delegates will be able to access more information - more complex information - faster.

"When this facility is linked to our award-winning customer service, I believe that we have a very powerful mix and a unique offering. Ultimately we are always trying to improve our efficiency and effectiveness and provide the best possible service for our clients. I am confident that this will be another step towards that ultimate goal."

BT has been working with the EICC on a range of technical projects to make it one of the most advanced facilities of its kind. Wireless networks have been installed to provide fast, flexible platforms for voice, data, video and multimedia functions.

Brendan Dick, BT Scotland general manager, said: "Wireless technologies are recognised as being part of the broadband jigsaw as we work to create a fully connected Scotland. Wireless has the potential to bring fast internet access to areas currently outside the reach of existing networks and BT plans to test a wide-range wireless solution in Scotland this winter.

"As well as leading the way for its own customers, the EICC's innovative project has allowed us to provide a platform for an acknowledged world leader to showcase its hyper speed wireless networks and enable people to glimpse the future at first hand.

We believe partnerships are essential to ensure everyone has fast internet access -- north, east, south and west!"


Notes to the Editor:

802.11 Standards
802.11 is a family of specifications for wireless local area networks (WLANs) developed by a working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). There are currently four specifications in the family: 802.11, 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. All four use the Ethernet protocol and CSMA/CA (carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance) for path sharing.

The most recently approved standard, 802.11g, offers wireless transmission over relatively short distances at up to 54 megabits per second (Mbps) compared with the 11 megabits per second of the 802.11b standard. Like 802.11b, 802.11g operates in the 2.4 GHz range and is thus compatible with it.

The 802.11a specification applies to wireless ATM systems and is used in access hubs. 802.11a operates at radio frequencies between 5 GHz and 6 GHz. It uses a modulation scheme known as orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) that makes possible data speeds as high as 54 Mbps, but most commonly, communications takes place at 6 Mbps, 12 Mbps, or 24 Mbps.

HiperLAN is a set of wireless local area network (WLAN) communication standards primarily used in European countries. There are two specifications: HiperLAN/1 and HiperLAN/2. Both have been adopted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

The HiperLAN standards provide features and capabilities similar to those of the IEEE 802.11 wireless local area network (LAN) standards, used in the U.S. and other adopting countries. HiperLAN/1 provides communications at up to 20 Mbps in the 5-GHz range of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum. HiperLAN/2 operates at up to 54 Mbps in the same RF band. HiperLAN/2 is compatible with 3G (third-generation) WLAN systems for sending and receiving data, images, and voice communications. HiperLAN/2 has the potential, and is intended, for implementation worldwide in conjunction with similar systems in the 5-GHz RF band.

Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93 per cent of the population from Grampian to Border. The Scottish Enterprise Network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies. Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the Network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scottish people, and to encourage innovation to make Scottish business internationally competitive.

This exhibition is part of the Wireless Excellence Network, which is in turn part of the Scottish Enterprise Broadband for Business Programme which has been established to increase the uptake of broadband technology by Scottish businesses. The Programme includes more than a dozen interlinked projects, which will:

-   Raise awareness of broadband and give companies unbiased, independent advice
-   Trial pioneering and alternative technologies that can deliver broadband services across the country
-   Develop telecommunications infrastructure, services and tariffs to put Scottish businesses on a competitive footing with Europe's leading locations.

For more information, visit

The Edinburgh International Conference (EICC) is one of Europe's foremost conference venues. Since opening its doors in 1995 the EICC has established a reputation for professionalism, excellence and quality on a global scale. Positioned in the very heart of a city rich with history, culture and heritage, the spectacular purpose-built structure is designed to give maximum flexibility for all types of occasions from large complex events to small top level meetings. Destination Edinburgh now ranks as the ninth most important conference destination in the world.

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NTT is a holding company of NTT group, a global information sharing enterprise group, which consists of more than 430 companies. One of the most important missions of NTT group is to contribute to the achievement of a ubiquitous broadband society. NTT group makes a concerted effort to provide broadband services by developing various access technologies such as photonic access, third generation cellular phone and wireless LAN, and by creating effective content distribution systems that promote distribution of movies and music and enhance content distribution services. In November 2002, the "Vision for a new optical generation" was announced.

Issued on behalf of Scottish Enterprise
For further information contact Sarah Cassidy, PR contractor for Scottish Enterprise on 07730 415024 or e-mail

Public Relations Group, Planning Department,
NTT Information Sharing Laboratory Group, e-mail

Martin Bailey, PR Manager, EICC on 0131 300 3000 or

Anna Steven, Press and PR Manager for BT Scotland on 08457 262624
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