FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 1999
MONTREAL - The GSM Alliance* and Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] today completed North America's first third generation (3G) wireless telephone call, using a wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) trial network under live conditions.
André Tremblay, president and chief executive officer of Microcell Telecommunications Inc. [ME, TSE: MTI.B; NASDAQ: MICTF], placed the historic call from Montreal to John Roth, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of Nortel Networks, in Toronto.
The trial network is being used to test next generation voice and high-speed wireless data services under a developmental radio license from Industry Canada. Nortel Networks, Microcell and other members of the GSM Alliance announced the trial late last year.
"These tests will help ensure that today's network operators have a clear, evolutionary path to the next generation of wireless services," Tremblay said. "Industry Canada is to be congratulated for its forward thinking in providing Microcell with a developmental license so that these important tests can take place."
Nortel Networks and Panasonic* are providing the network hardware, software and terminals under an alliance formed last year to develop 3G wireless voice and data solutions.
"In concert with the GSM Alliance, this trial is providing a first-hand demonstration of our Unified Networks* solutions," Roth said.
"Wireless operators can gracefully evolve from the traditional focus on voice traffic to a highly flexible network architecture that accommodates both voice and data," Roth said. "This can open the door to higher bandwidth, higher speed, voice and data services for consumers, with the added benefit of mobility."
Trial participants will be able to test a variety of advanced wireless services - including high-bandwidth Internet browsing, video conferencing, file transfer and voice-over-IP - 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 services at speeds up to 384 kilobits per second.
Microcell Telecommunications Inc. is a Canadian provider of Personal Communications Services (PCS). The Company has four operating subsidiaries: Microcell Connexions, holder of one of two national 30 MHz PCS licences delivered in Canada, which operates the Company's PCS network and markets it on a wholesale basis; Microcell Solutions, which is a national provider of PCS services under the Fido* brand name; Microcell Labs, which carries out research and development in new PCS applications; and Microcell Capital, a venture company operating in the PCS sector.
The North American GSM Alliance L.L.C. is a group of North America's leading digital wireless Personal Communication Services companies. By using Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications technology, Alliance companies provide superior voice clarity, unparalleled security and leading-edge wireless voice, data and fax features for customers, whether at home, away or abroad.
GSM Alliance members include: Aerial Communications, Inc., Airadigm Communications, Inc.; BellSouth Mobility DCS; Conestoga Wireless Company; Cook Inlet PCS; DIGIPH PCS; Iowa Wireless Services, LP; Microcell Telecommunications Inc.; NPI Wireless; Omnipoint Communications LLC; Pacific Bell Wireless; Powertel, Inc.; STPCS Joint Venture, LLC; TWS, Inc.; Western Total Communications; Western Wireless Corp.; and Wireless 2000 PCS. The GSM Alliance works in cooperation with North American GSM equipment manufacturers: Siemens, Motorola, Nortel Networks, Nokia and Ericsson.
Nortel Networks delivers value to customers around the world through Unified Networks solutions, spanning mission-critical telephony and IP-optimized networks. Customers include public and private enterprises and institutions; Internet service providers; local, long-distance, cellular and PCS communications companies, cable television carriers, and utilities.
Nortel Networks' common shares are listed on the New York, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and London stock exchanges. Nortel Networks had 1998 revenues of US$17.6 billion and has approximately 75,000 employees worldwide.
* Nortel Networks, the Nortel Networks Globemark,
Unified Networks and How the world shares ideas are trademarks
of Nortel Networks Corporation.
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