Ethiopia, one of the first African Countries to transition from AFTN to AMHS, decided to do so with the assistance of ICAO and chose Radiocom, Inc as the supplier of excellence to design, supply, install and set to work an AMHS Extended Service. This turnkey installation was carried out by the Radiocom, Inc. experts, who put forward a solid well designed project to suit Ethiopias immediate needs, with the possibility of further expansion as required.
The contract was signed in 2009 and after the initial presentation to the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) carried out in Addis Ababa in June last year, the fine tuning began, the system was assembled in Radiocom, Inc. headquarters pre shipment, where the system was thoroughly tested. Once the equipment had arrived in Addis Ababa and customs formalities were under way, a team of 6 engineers and technicians flew to Addis Ababa to commence the installation. Additionally the system for ECAA was complemented with two specific application data banks DBAIS and AeroBilling (see below). For this contract, four (4) locations had to be equipped, ECAAs headquarters in Addis Ababa and a number of locations around the Bole airport, Mekele airport, Bahir Dar airport and Dire Dawa airport. Bandwidth needs had to be a big consideration (see below). Additionally the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority requested the installation of an AMHS Training Facility. This is the first TRAINING CENTER of its kind in AFRICA; it is fully equipped to handle the training of in house personnel as well as hosting international training courses for neighboring countries. This is a service that is very needed in the region and could prove to be a very important, positive and popular asset for ECAA. Both systems installed are AMHS Extended Service, with specific benefits when evaluating bandwidth requirements. The Radiocom, Inc. system is based on X.400 and X.500 protocol sets particularly X. 400 P3 communicating between the Message Transfer Agent (MTA), the Message Store (MS) and X.400 P7 communicating between the MS and User Agents (UA). This means low bandwidth requirement for communication between the MTA/MS in Bole and the remote location terminals in Mekele, Bahir Dar and Dire Dawa (all hundreds of miles away) need not be more than 9.6Kbit/s, and not the high bandwidth requirements that HTTP based systems require (for the same communication links with the remote location terminals, at least 64Kbits/s may be needed). This helps keep the cost of communication usage right down. The complete system was left operational on April 30th, 2010 by the Radiocom, Inc. personnel. A further visit was carried out in June for final system acceptance. Radiocom, Inc. supply a complete range of optional AMHS data banks, including a AIS data bank (DBAIS), a Meteorological data bank (DBMET) an Equipment Systems and Services data bank (DBESS) and an Airport Services Billing data bank (AeroBilling). Radiocom, Inc. is looking forward to working with more African nations in their transition from AFTN to AMHS. This is a rapidly expanding region and Radiocom Inc. who has a good relationship with ICAO is ready to support their efforts to achieve a speedy and smooth transition throughout the continent.