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Press Releases - May 2005

Ericsson signs GSM expansion contract with Mobitel in Sri Lanka

Date: Tuesday, May 31 2005 - Mobitel has selected Ericsson as the exclusive vendor to expand its GSM network in Sri Lanka. Ericsson will supply both core and radio access network equipment, including GSM 900, GPRS, EDGE, as well as turnkey network design, deployment and integration services.

This agreement complements the GSM 1800 contract that was previously awarded to Ericsson, leading to Mobitel's successful launch of mobile services in 2002, for both consumer and corporate market segments.

The current contract for deployment of GSM 900 technology, together with the existing GSM 1800, will enable Mobitel to more than double its network capacity and offer the latest and advanced features and services to its end users, thereby strengthening Mobitel's leadership in Sri Lanka.

Shuhei Anan, Mobitel's CEO, says that Mobitel had a number of very high quality and competitive bidders, but at all times had to consider who could provide the best overall solution and value for both immediate and long- term needs. "Ericsson, with its strong local presence, has partnered with us for three generations, from TDMA to SM 1800 and now GSM 900. Ericsson understands both our business and market and is again being selected for its technology and value leadership," he says.

Bimal Dayal, Managing Director for Ericsson Sri Lanka, says that Ericsson has worked as a partner with Mobitel for many years with mobile networks, applications and services. "We are very pleased and honored to once again be selected by Mobitel for this major network investment, thus strengthening our commitment to develop the telecom infrastructure in Sri Lanka," he says.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

Ericsson selected as a preferred supplier to BT in 21st Century Network deployment

Date: Thursday, April 28 2005 - Ericsson's Telephony Softswitch is set to play a key strategic role in the development of BT's 21st Century all-IP network (21CN). BT's announcement of Ericsson as a preferred supplier confirms Ericsson's position as an advanced solution provider.

BT has announced it expects to conclude contractual agreements with named preferred suppliers for 21CN over the summer.

"We are very pleased that BT has selected Ericsson as a preferred supplier to provide the i-node element of the 21st Century Network," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO, Ericsson. "This is a prestige project for our company and it further demonstrates BT's ambition to develop advanced and innovative services and to significantly invest in the UK telecom marketplace," he added.

BT's 21CN initiative is among the most important and ambitious telecommunications projects in the world and Ericsson provided BT with an innovative and flexible solution which meets BT's needs and supports its vision of a converged multimedia network.

BT's 21CN investment in the future is stimulating the global evolution and deployment of a layered architecture that delivers telephony, data and multimedia services. This evolution strategy will enhance the consumer experience with advanced, converged services that can be deployed rapidly by BT. The strategy will also deliver economic benefits from network consolidation with full operational flexibility whilst supporting stringent demands for scalability, flexibility and telecom grade quality of service.

BT's decision to select Ericsson to play a significant role in this pioneering project also underlines the company's position in the UK and will assist in the drive to create diverse career opportunities locally.

Ericsson is the world leader in fixed, mobile and convergent telecom solutions; to date, the company has secured more than 30 Telephony Softswitch solution customers. Ericsson is partnering leading operators worldwide: many of whom are implementing layered architectures to meet today's operational challenges whilst maintaining clear migration routes to all-IP network infrastructures.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

Ericsson selected as a preferred supplier to BT in 21st Century Network deployment

Friday, May 27 2005 - Orange Dominicana has awarded Ericsson an expansion contract for its GSM/GPRS network in the Dominican Republic, one of the fastest-growing markets in Central America and the Caribbean.

The state-of-the-art technology supplied by Ericsson will enable Orange Dominicana to provide new advanced voice and high-speed data services to a growing number of mobile phone users in the Dominican Republic.

Ericsson is the sole supplier under the agreement; it will provide new switches and expansion of existing switches in Orange Dominicana's network. The contract also includes software features for improved speech quality and coverage, making Orange Dominicana's GSM network one of the most advanced in Central America.

Robert Rudin, Country Manager, Ericsson Dominican Republic, says Ericsson is pleased to be selected once again as Orange's supplier in the Dominican Republic. "This contract strengthens our position as the world's leading GSM provider, and confirms our position as a global strategic partner for Orange," he says.

Frederick Debord, President of Orange Dominicana SA, says Orange is passionate about delivering a better future to its customers in the Dominican Republic by offering the best communication experience. "We have received strong support from Ericsson since the beginning of our operations," he says. "With this step we strengthen our win-win relationship as part of our journey to a bright future."

Ericsson has been established in the Dominican Republic since 2000, when Orange started operations in the country. The equipment and services announced in today's contract will be in operation by the third quarter 2005.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

GSM Association Welcomes Indian Regulator's Recommendations on Global 3G Spectrum Use

London, UK, 17 th May 2005 - The GSM Association (GSMA) welcomes the news that the recommendations of the Indian Regulator (TRAI) stay within the Indian government’s established policy of global spectrum harmonisation for 3G services, contained in their Spectrum Policy (NFAP 2002). This ensures that India retains alignment with the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) IMT2000 core (2GHz) band for 3G services.

Last year the GSMA called on TRAI to remain within the global IMT2000 scheme for harmonised 3G services and reject the US PCS band and the mixed-band plan proposals, which would have led to isolation of India’s mobile telecommunications and IT sectors.

"The global mobile community is now looking to the government of India’s final policy decision to ensure that India can expedite deployment of harmonised 3G mobile services, in line with the rest of the world," said Tom Phillips, the GSMA’s Government & Regulatory Affairs Officer.

"This will open up enormous opportunities for India’s IT industry to support the development of applications and solutions on a global basis. The IMT200 core band scheme will ensure that Indian users benefit from significant economies of scale, choice and value, all of which are critical market drivers in support of the government’s goal of reaching 200 Million subscribers by 2007."

However, the GSMA also notes that some of the other recommendations of TRAI could provide unfair advantages to CDMA operators over GSM. As part of its recommendations, TRAI suggested immediate release of additional spectrum for CDMA operators in the 800MHz band - which the GSMA views as preferential treatment with no set timetable for the release of additional spectrum to operators of GSM and future 3GSM based services.

The GSM Association is therefore calling on the Minister of Telecommunications & IT and India’s Telecom Commission to demonstrate fair and equal treatment for all players with regard to timing of allocation of spectrum for 3G services- both EVDO & 3GSM (W-CDMA), when the final decision is made, and to ensure the simultaneous release of spectrum in the 2GHz (IMT-2000 core band), and 800MHz frequency bands.

"Whilst India’s regulator is on track to implement 3G in harmony with the global spectrum scheme, its plans to favour specific technologies by allowing them a head start, are inconsistent with the government’s policy of technology neutrality, and do not provide a level playing field for all operators," added Phillips.

First students graduate from GSMA-Certified Fraud Training Program

London, UK, 17 th May 2005 - The first 11 students have successfully completed the GSM Association's (GSMA) Certified Fraud Training Programme.

Originally launched in November 2001, and redeveloped to include assessment and certification in September 2004, the programme was created by the GSMA's Fraud Forum in response to operator concern over the diverse nature of telecommunications fraud and the differing levels of experience present amongst anti-fraud personnel.

Reflecting the practical and operational needs of the GSMA's global membership, the modular programme incorporates an initial foundation course followed by further modules that help the student develop the depth of knowledge and skill required to detect, investigate and manage fraud effectively. Each module consists of a three-day course culminating in a written examination.

After completing all modules and successfully passing the accompanying examinations, the GSMA Professional Certification Board, comprised of industry experts in fraud, considers the student for certification as a "Telecommunications Fraud Specialist".

The first candidate to achieve this distinction is Karl Katzbauer, Chief of Interconnection Administration from mobilkom austria. A further eight students, put forward by operators Vodafone Ireland, O2 UK and Maroc Telecom, together with two students from GSMA Associate Member Neural Technologies, have just been certified by the GSMA Professional Certification Board.

"Fraud is a growing menace in all walks of life and telecommunications is not immune," said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA and Member of its Board. "'Telecommunications Fraud Specialists' certified by the GSMA will become recognised as valuable and professional contributors to any telecommunications fraud management team, and to the global GSM family of operators fighting against fraud threats."

"The GSMA-Certified Fraud Training Program, gives my team the knowledge, skills and confidence to better protect our business and our customers from fraudsters," said Dr. Alexander Zuser, Chief of Carrier Relations mobilkom austria. "The international network of graduates that the programme is creating will become an increasingly powerful weapon against cross-border fraud."

MPEG LA’s Revised Terms For Digital Rights Management Still Unacceptable

London, UK, 04 th May 2005 - The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for more than 660 global mobile operators, today confirmed that its evaluation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) solutions continues despite MPEG LA’s revised proposal, which was again met with dismay by the operator community.

Last month, the GSMA - whose members serve more than 1.3 billion mobile users – expressed operators’ discontent at MPEG LA’s original license terms, warning that its impractical terms would force operators to implement disparate solutions and thereby fragment global mobile services.

The GSMA’s Board called on all suppliers of DRM solutions - essential to allow the consistent and easy delivery of music and video files across and between mobile networks and their customers - to put forward alternate schemes for evaluation. Some fourteen proposals were submitted to the GSMA for review.

The stance adopted by the GSMA, and the market in general, led MPEG LA to revise its proposal with reduced handset and transaction licensing fees. However, the Association’s Board has expressed serious disappointment with the revised terms – both in terms of the fee levels and complexity of the scheme.

”MPEG LA is missing a tremendous opportunity to unite the industry behind one solution,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association and Board member. “It’s clear that the revised proposal remains unreasonable and unworkable – but we are confident that MPEG LA will continue to respond to market feedback.”

The GSMA Board is also frustrated by the lack of transparency surrounding the details and structure of IPR that MPEG LA considers ‘essential’. These details have not been revealed to date, which has led to members’ questions regarding the validity of the patents.

The GSMA’s review process has identified several strong DRM supplier candidates, but it has also uncovered additional material issues that require resolution. The Board is therefore unable to make a final recommendation to its Members until these outstanding issues have been resolved. It has instructed the GSMA to work with candidates toward a resolution, and to complete the process as quickly and as reasonably as possible.

"We must find cost-effective ways to open the content market and drive the flow of rich multi-media content across the mobile world,” said Frank Boulben Executive Vice-President, Brand & Consumer Marketing, Orange. “It's disappointing that the MPEG LA has not taken on board our previous concerns. The current terms of its proposals will lead to fragmentation owing to unacceptability, and critically delay launches of these new mobile services."

“It is essential that the industry adopts a unified approach to Digital Rights Management”, said Alan Harper, Strategy Director, Vodafone Group. “Unless we do so fragmentation remains a real concern. We are extremely disappointed that MPEG LA has not responded appropriately to the scale of opportunity that the industry has before it to nurture and grow the mobile content market to achieve its full potential. It is therefore essential that the GSMA’s DRM review process continues until a practical solution is found.”

Ericsson to further streamline its CDMA business unit to leverage organizational synergies

Date: Wednesday, May 4 2005 - Ericsson has announced plans to simplify its Mobile Systems CDMA unit organization for improved efficiency.

Based on previously announced commonality across its technology platforms, Ericsson will streamline its organization to maintain industry leading efficiency and productivity within its operations.

Business Unit Mobile Systems CDMA has its administrative headquarters in San Diego, California. Following the reorganization, the CDMA business unit will further leverage Ericsson's global organizational structure by transitioning responsibilities, which today are handled in San Diego, to other operations.

As a consequence of streamlining the organization, CDMA operations in San Diego will be significantly reduced and the headquarter operations will eventually be closed. Ericsson estimates that approximately 250 employees will be made redundant over the next 6-9 months.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.