FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 1998
Microcell to Host Technology, Services Trial
MONTREAL - What is the market for third generation (3G) wireless services? What will consumers want, and how much will they be willing to spend? Can wireless operators build successful business cases around these new services?
Nortel Networks* [NYSE: NT/TSE: NTL], Microcell and other members of the North American GSM Alliance* will deploy an experimental wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) network in Montreal - the first of its kind in North America - to evaluate 3G wireless technology and services. Canadian PCS operator Microcell will host the trial beginning early next year.
"If the trend toward increased data traffic over wireline networks holds true for wireless, we want to address consumer demand by giving operators higher bandwidth, higher speed, more reliable wireless networks," said Matt Desch, president, Wireless, Nortel Networks. "This trial will validate the technology, and begin to provide answers to our questions about which 3G services have real value and how operators can make money selling them."
"We're providing a place where we can demonstrate the viability of 3G technology, and begin to identify more clearly the benefits of 3G services," said Don Warkentin, chairman, North American GSM Alliance and president and chief executive officer, Aerial Communications.
Nortel Networks and Panasonic*, which recently formed an alliance to develop 3G wireless voice and data solutions, will provide the network hardware, software and terminals.
Participants will be able to test a variety of advanced services - including high-bandwidth Internet access, data, video, image and multimedia- using prototype personal phones, wireless modems, digital cameras and other innovative consumer devices from Panasonic. An advanced data network backbone from Nortel Networks will deliver these applications and services at speeds up to 384 kbps.
The North American GSM Alliance, L.L.C. is a group of US and Canadian digital wireless PCS carriers which helps provide seamless wireless communications for more than two million customers, whether at home, in nearly 2,400 US and Canadian cities and towns, or abroad. Using the GSM standard, these companies provide digital wireless service with superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and leading edge voice, data and fax features. There are more than 120 million GSM customers in over 128 countries worldwide.
Microcell is a national provider of PCS in Canada. Its network covers close to 52 percent of the Canadian population. Service is available in a number of centers including Quebec, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Ottawa-Hull, Oshawa, Toronto, St. Catharines-Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. Microcell has been a public company since October 15, 1997. Its principal shareholders include: Telesystem Ltd., Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (parent company of Sprint Canada) and Le Groupe Vidéotron Ltée. Microcell's head office is located in Montreal. The company employs over 1,400 people across Canada.
Nortel Networks common shares are listed on the New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and London stock exchanges. Nortel Networks had 1997 revenues of US$15.5 billion and Bay Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nortel Networks, had revenues of US$2.4 billion during its most recent fiscal year. The combined company's workforce totals approximately 80,000 employees worldwide.
* Panasonic is a trademark of Matsushita Communications Industrial Co. Ltd.
* GSM Alliance is a trademark of the North American GSM Alliance, LLC.
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Or visit Nortel Networks' web-site at www.nortelnetworks.com
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