Total Access Communication System

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First-generation Motorola 4500X mobile phone, which utilised ETACS

Total Access Communication System (TACS) and ETACS are variants of Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) which were announced as the choice for the first two UK national cellular systems in February 1983, less than a year after the UK government announced the T&Cs for the two competing mobile phone networks in June 1982.[1] This 1G technology is now obsolete.

History[edit]

Vodafone (known then as Racal-Vodafone) opted for a £30 million turnkey contract[2] from Ericsson (ERA) to design, build and set up its initial network of 100 base station sites.[3]

Vodafone used CMS8810 equipment designed by Ericsson some of which was made under licence by Racal Carlton Nottingham

Cellnet (then known Telecom Securicor Cellular Radio Ltd) used development labs in the facilities at General Electric (later made part of Motorola) based at Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. The reason Cellnet used the General Electric labs was because the AMPS system was already in development there, and the company had set up a production facility in readiness for AMPS production in 1985 which the Cellnet TACS was to share. In March 1984 development of prototypes began at General Electric. Production began in 1985 and General Electric produced 20,000 systems that year for Cellnet's distribution in the UK. Production of what was to become the Motorola model were then made at Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England. This production facility continued making TACS until the advent of GSM.

TACS cellular phones were used in Europe (including the UK, Italy, Austria and Ireland) and other countries. TACS was also used in Japan under the name Japanese Total Access Communication (JTAC).[4][5] It was also used in Hong Kong.[6] ETACS was an extended version of TACS with more channels.

TACS and ETACS are now obsolete in Europe, having been replaced by the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) system. In the United Kingdom, the last ETACS service operated by Vodafone was discontinued on 31 May 2001, after 16 years of service. The competing service in the UK operated by Cellnet (latterly BT Cellnet) was closed on Sunday 1 October 2000.

Eircell (now Vodafone Ireland) closed its TACS network on 26 January 2001. This followed a long period during which customers were encouraged to switch to GSM services. When the network was closed, there were very few, if any, active TACS customers left. Customers who switched network were able to keep their phone number, but the (088) prefix was changed to either 087 (Eircell, now Vodafone Ireland) GSM or 086 (Esat Digifone, which became O2 Ireland before merging with Three) GSM. At the time, full mobile number portability was not available to TACS customers and the (088) prefix was closed. An automatic voice message was left in place for 12 months advising callers of the customer's new prefix.

Frequency bands used by ETACS in the UK[edit]

Channel Cell TX (MHz) Mobile TX (MHz) Notes
1 935.0125 890.0125 25 kHz spaced channels
23 935.5625 890.5625 1st of 21 dedicated vodafone control channels
24 935.5650 890.5650 2nd of 21 dedicated vodafone control channels
300 942.4875 898.0625 9.5 kHz peak speech fm deviation
323 943.0625 898.0625 1st of 21 dedicated cellnet control channels
600 949.9875 904.9875 Last TACS channel, ETACS extended this to 1320 later

TACS BAND Summary

Base TX Start End (MHz) Mobile start End (MHz) Band
935 950 890 905 TACS 600 Channels
935 960 890 915 TACS 1000 Channels
917 950 872 905 E-TACS 1320 Channels

ESNs were issued in batches of 65535 by BABT for phone manufactures to program into each cellular phone to make each one unique to the TACS network with which it attempted to register.

The following countries had more than two batches of ESNs allocated to them: UK, Italy, Austria, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Australia.

UK ETACS and US AMPS compared[edit]

Feature TACS AMPS
Channel Spacing 25 kHz 30 kHz
Speech peak Freq Dev 9.5 kHz 12 kHz
Signalling FSK peak Freq Dev 6.4 kHz 8 kHz
Signalling rate 8 kbit/s 10 kbit/s
SAT 0 5970 Hz 5970 Hz
SAT 1 6000 Hz 6000 Hz
SAT 2 6030 Hz 6030 Hz
ST 8000 Hz 10000 Hz
Mobile TX pwr MAC 0 10 W 4 W
Mobile TX pwr MAC 1 1.6 W 1.6 W
Mobile TX pwr MAC 2 630 mW 630 mW
Mobile TX pwr MAC 3 250 mW 250 mW
Mobile TX pwr MAC 4 100 mW 100 mW
Mobile TX pwr MAC 5 40 mW 40 mW
Mobile TX pwr MAC 6 16 mW 16 mW
Mobile TX pwr MAC 7 6.3 mW 6.3 mW

Commercial deployments[edit]

Country Operator(s) ƒ (MHz) Launch date End of service Notes
 United Kingdom

 Jersey

Vodafone

Cellnet
Jersey Telecom

Jan 1985

Jan 1985
1987

May 2001[7]

Oct 2000
1999

[8]
 Ireland Eircell Dec 1985 Jan 2001 [8]
 Hong Kong CSL Mobile

Hutchison Telecom

1987 May 1996[9] [10][11]
 China China Mobile Nov 1987[12] Dec 2001[13][14] [15]
 Macau CTM Nov 1988[16] Feb 2001[17] [18]
 Sri Lanka Celltel 1989 2006[19] [18]
 Japan DDI Jul 1989[20] Sep 2000[21] [18]
 Malaysia Celcom 1989 Named ART-900.[22][18]
 Mauritania 1989 [18]
 United Arab Emirates 1989 [18]
 Ghana [23]
 Bahrain [23]
 Kuwait [23]
 Italy TIM [en; it] Apr 1990 Dec 2005[24][25] [8]
 Spain MoviLine [es] Apr 1990 Dec 2004[26] Named TMA-900.[8]
 Austria Mobilkom Jul 1990 Feb 2002[27] [23]
 Malta [23]
 Nigeria 1991 [23]
 Singapore 1991 [23]
 Kenya 1992 [23]
 Mauritius [23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barnes, David M (May 1985). The Introduction of Cellular Radio to the United Kingdom. Vehicular Technology Conference, 1985. 35th. pp. 147–152. doi:10.1109/VTC.1985.1623346.
  2. ^ Mueling, John; Jeans, Richard (1994). The Mobile Phone Book. CommunicationsWeek International. p. 92. ISBN 978-0952403104.
  3. ^ "The Racal Vodafone Network in Great Britain" (PDF). Ericsson Review. 64: 130. 1987.
  4. ^ GSM Terma, volny.cz. Article retrieved 2006-01-19.
  5. ^ Japanese Total Access Communication (JTAC), mobiledia.com. Article retrieved 2007-01-19.
  6. ^ Cellular Networks QuickStart: Getting up to Speed on Cellular, from 1G to 3G, devx.com. Article dated 2003-03-17, retrieved 2007-01-19.
  7. ^ "Vodafone closes analogue network". www.computing.co.uk. 11 April 2001. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d Shi, Mingtao (2007). Technology Base of Mobile Cellular Operators in Germany and China: A Comparative Study from the Perspective of the Resource Based View. Univerlagtuberlin. ISBN 978-3-7983-2057-4.
  9. ^ "Hutchison Whampoa Limited - Financial Information". Investor Relations Asia Pacific. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  10. ^ "Office of the Communications Authority - Telecommunications Milestones before 2012". Office of the Communications Authority. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  11. ^ Tsang, KC (2017). 我地廣告 (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Chung Hwa Book Company (Hong Kong) Limited. pp. 648–653. ISBN 978-988-8488-27-8.
  12. ^ "1987年11月18日 广州移动电话网开通". 中国科学院光电技术研究所 (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  13. ^ 中国移动通信集团公司模拟网退网领导小组办公室 (31 December 2001). "中国模拟移动通信网已退出历史舞台". 中国移动通信网站 (in Chinese (China)). 中国移动通信. Archived from the original on 16 April 2002.
  14. ^ "中国模拟移动通信网完成历史使命于31日晚关闭". tech.sina.com.cn (in Chinese (China)). 1 January 2002. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  15. ^ 叶, 国兴 (30 September 1989). "广东省电话通信蓬勃发展" (PDF). 广东政报 (in Chinese (China)). 广东省广州市: 广东省人民政府办公厅. 1989 (9): 30–31. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  16. ^ "Main Evolutions - Telecom". CTT (in Portuguese). Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  17. ^ "印務局 - 第6/2001號行政命令". 澳門特別行政區政府印務局 (in Chinese (Macau)). Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  18. ^ a b c d e f https://media.crai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/05145230/Insights-The-Economics-of-5G-article-6-Open-or-Closed-System-May2021.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ "Lankan mobile phone industry now totally GSM". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  20. ^ 森島, 光紀 (30 March 2007). 国立科学博物館技術の系統化調査報告 第7集 (PDF) (in Japanese). 東京: 独立行政法人 国立科学博物館. p. 199. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  21. ^ "TACS(アナログ)方式の携帯電話サービスの終了について". KDDI (in Japanese). 日本移動通信株式会社. 29 September 2000. Archived from the original on 20 February 2003.
  22. ^ href=, LEONG HUNG YEE. "Mobile phone has come of age". The Star. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub2646.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "Repubblica.it » scienza_e_tecnologia » In pensione il vecchio Tacs 'pap�' dei moderni cellulari". www.repubblica.it. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Tra due giorni addio al vecchio cellulare Tacs - Cellulare Magazine". archivio.cellulare-magazine.it. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  26. ^ Pantaleoni, Ana (21 January 2004). "Cierra MoviLine, el primer servicio popular de telefonía móvil". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  27. ^ online, heise (5 May 2004). "30 Jahre Mobilfunk in Österreich". heise online (in German). Retrieved 22 June 2022.