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Sectors

Overview

For the majority of our customers wireless communications is their primary business. These include operators of land mobile cellular and mobile satellite networks, private mobile radio (PMR) network operators, public safety radio network operators, government organisations dealing with spectrum licensing and regulation, and radio communications equipment manufacturers.

We also assist organisations for whom wireless communications is a key component of their business operations, including national rail operators, public utilities companies, government defence and security organisations, defence equipment manufacturers and semiconductor companies.

Given our focus on new technology, we are also able to assist industries who are increasingly using wireless communications as an enabling technology to enhance their business operations. We are active in remote monitoring systems and sensor networks, and follow closely developments in areas such as RFID, smart environments and automated highways.

Cellular and broadband

We were involved from the outset with the introduction of digital cellular systems into Europe, starting with being one of the teams that evaluated the different candidate GSM technologies.

Our work on cellular and broadband technologies has been a cornerstone of our business ever since, performing detailed analyses of a wide range of cellular and mobile broadband technologies such as GSM, cdmaOne, UMTS, HSPA, LTE and WiMAX. We have also been instrumental in providing the industry with an understanding of radio propagation in dense urban areas and the tools to plan high capacity small cell networks.

Our understanding of cellular radio engineering puts us in an ideal position to assist you with the assessment of new technologies and what they can deliver to your customers and your business. We have recently been asked by our customers to answer questions such as; Will femtocells damage the performance of my 3G network? Can microcells enhance the capacity of my 3G network and what design rules should I follow? What is the value of the 2.6 GHz spectrum to me and my competitors?

If you require high quality, professional and independent technical expertise to build a strategic vision for your organisation, then MAC Ltd has the experience and expertise to help.

Satellite

Since the late 1990's MAC Ltd has been working with MSS operators in Europe and North America on a wide range of regulatory, IPR and technology issues, providing whatever additional short-term or long-term technical support our customers have required.

Using analysis, modelling and/or simulation MAC Ltd provides its customers with in-depth evaluations of any current or proposed MSS technology for own-system or vendor/competitor technology analysis, to generate and present the technical data that MSS operators require to substantiate their own regulatory or standards body submissions, or to challenge inaccurate third-party submissions.

Similarly, MAC Ltd can assist MSS operators and their partners by evaluating the capacity, coverage and interoperability of combined satellite/terrestrial (CGC/ATC) service. Analysis and modelling of RF interference between the same or dissimilar systems operating as co-frequency or adjacent channel systems is a key area of expertise, and such analysis is relevant to many aspects of satellite CGC/ATC systems operation.

At a more hands on level, MAC Ltd can lead trial plan definition, trial execution and trial data analysis, system deployment planning, implementation and testing, and provide MSS operators with prototype sub-systems or bespoke test equipment.

Wireless Sensor Networks and the ‘Internet of Things'

If you are using sensors and you require assistance in wireless networking and gateway development, then MAC Ltd has the skills and expertise you need.

MAC Ltd has been active in the research and development of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) for a number of years. In 2003 we were part of the pioneering FloodNet project that investigated the use of WSNs in the monitoring of flood threats in river floodplains. We developed a number of communication nodes that were used to collect water-level measurements in remote locations. In every year since 2003 we have been involved in WSN development, eg, we investigated the use of agent technologies within WSNs and developed our own ad-hoc routing protocols, which allow WSNs to adjust dynamically as sensor nodes enter and leave the network.

In other market areas such as telecare and the location of emergency service personnel we’ve been involved in projects examining the use of WSNs and experimenting with many of the technologies available. We are currently developing a WSN that can be used to monitor the condition of sleepers in an operational railway to inform proactive maintenance regimes, which is a practical implementation of the Internet of Things.

In addition, we have extensive expertise in WiFi, Bluetooth and ZigBee, as well as a number of proprietary wireless systems and we also have experience in developing and deploying advanced communication and routing protocols.

PMR & public safety

Effective public safety communications networks are a critical factor in a state's ability to protect its citizens from a range of threats, including crime, terrorism and natural and man-made disasters. As the capabilities of communications technologies develop and working practices and processes change, so public safety communications systems must evolve to keep pace with the expectations of public safety professionals and the public in general.

We have a strong track record of assisting public safety communications users, network operators and manufacturers to plan and deploy their networks and understand the impact of new technologies. We were instrumental in devising the measurement techniques that were used to verify the coverage of the Airwave network in the United Kingdom, which remains the world's largest TETRA network, and the results of our detailed analyses and simulations helped ETSI to define the evolution of the TETRA standard to deliver higher speed data (TETRA Release 2, TEDS).

We were also recently engaged by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) in the United Kingdom to advise on the evolution of communications technologies, and we are an approved supplier of TETRA training courses for the TETRA Association.

Therefore, if you need to understand how to take advantage of new technologies or the impact they may have on your business, or you need to determine your future spectrum requirements or develop an effective spectrum acquisition strategy, we have the experience and the expertise to help.

Defence & security

Techniques used in commercial terminals and networks are often applicable to national security requirements and the commercial drivers towards high data rates in small packages mean that there are now cost effective solutions to the difficult communications needs encountered in Defence and Security applications.

By keeping abreast of research in communications systems, such as ad-hoc networks, ultra-wideband, cognitive radio and software radio technologies MAC Ltd is well placed to adapt these technologies to Defence and Security needs.

Using its hardware and software design capabilities, MAC Ltd designs and implements physical layer modems based on commercial standards, but modified as appropriate for the specific needs of Defence and Security applications.

MAC Ltd also provides technologies to support intelligence gathering applications such as signal location and interception.

MAC Ltd has developed low-power, low-cost radio direction finding equipment for detecting the source of frequency hopping radio transmissions, and continues to investigate new ways to detect, monitor and locate sources of interference, for example, CDMA transmissions and broadband noise sources.

Government & regulatory

Governments and Regulators have an interest in promoting the most efficient use of radio spectrum, simultaneously maintaining useable spectrum, accommodating new services and coordinating with neighbouring administrations.

MAC Ltd's technical expertise is employed in assessing the impact of new services on old, and vice versa, defining co-ordination approaches and so forth.

MAC Ltd has assisted by providing technical input to consultations for the regulator and potential licensees, analysed the effects of mobile services sharing spectrum in the same or in different areas, and studied international coordination.

For example, we attended meetings of ITU-R working party 5D from 2005 to 2009, been instrumental in performing sharing studies between WiMAX and other IMT-2000 technologies, and been involved in the addition of Mobile WiMAX to the IMT-2000 family.

We have represented mobile operators, PMR operators, satellite operators and trade associations in discussions with governments and regulatory authorities in the UK and elsewhere.