Motorola Inc. said the Bundespost Telekom of West Germany has chosen it as an official supplier of infrastructure equipment for a digital cellular network.
The selection represents another step in the opening of the West German telecommunications market to foreign competition."West Germany has been a difficult market for non-German companies to do business in," said Tony Langham, vice president of County Natwest Securities USA Inc. in New York.
"We have been pushing the German government for a number of years to buy more products from U.S. companies," said Allen R. Frischkorn, president of the Telecommunications Industry Association.
A Motorola spokesman declined to estimate the dollar value of the company's selection, noting that it would be competing against Siemens AG of West Germany and a consortium led by Philips NV of the Netherlands to supply the D1 cellular network in Germany.
That network, however, could produce orders for the three competitors of up to 2 billion deutsche marks (approximately $1.27 billion at current exchange rates), said Mario Salvadori, director of public relations for Motorola's Radio-Telephone Systems Group.
The move also has symbolic importance for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola, which was passed over last year when Mannesmann AG of West Germany was choosing partners for a consortium to supply another digital cellular network in Germany.
"It validates their technology," Mr. Langham said, adding that it gives Motorola access to what is potentially the world's third-largest market for cellular telephones after the United States and Japan.
San Francisco-based Pacific Telesis Corp., Cable & Wireless of Britain and Ericsson of Sweden were the companies chosen by Mannesmann.
The Mannesmann and Bundespost networks will be competing against each other. Both are based on the Pan-European digital cellular standard, known as GSM (Groupe Speciale Mobile). The German government set up the two new networks to spur competition in the marketplace.
"We look forward to aggressively assisting D1 so as to reinforce their competitive leadership in the exciting market for cellular communications in the unified Germany," said Bernard R. Smedley, senior vice president of Motorola Inc. and general manager of its Radio-Telephone Systems Group.
Mr. Langham of County Natwest said the choice is also significant for Motorola because it adds another country to the company's portfolio.
Motorola previously won several digital cellular systems contracts in Europe, including GSM validation systems for Scandinavia, Spain and Britain, as well as for the German Bundespost. It also won contracts for GSM pre- operational systems in Spain and Britain, and for operational systems in Sweden and Britain.