"We are proud to continue our position as sole supplier of wireless systems to Cable & Wireless in Panama, having deployed their TDMA network and now migrating their network to GSM/GPRS," said Bert Nordberg, Vice President and General Manager, Ericsson Systems. "This contract is an important milestone in our strong, long-term relationship with Cable & Wireless, one of the world's leading global telecommunications operators."

With this contract Ericsson will provide GPRS, Mobile Internet Enabling Proxy (MIEP), an Intelligent Network (IN) with Mobile Virtual Private Network (MVPN) and Flexible Number Register (FNR), which enables the subscriber to use the old TDMA phone number in the new GSM network.

"Ericsson's unparalleled global experience in deploying GSM/GPRS networks and services, as well as Ericsson Mobility World's broad network of application and content developers, will be a great benefit to us in delivering a compelling and localized offering for the Panamanian market," said Jose Miguel Garcia, President, Cable & Wireless Panama.

Additionally, as a part of the strategic agreement with Cable & Wireless, Ericsson will supply a range of services to facilitate the launch of the network, including business consulting, initial network design and installation, engineering, testing and RF design and optimization services. Beyond delivering a turnkey network, Ericsson will provide consultative services to support Cable & Wireless in developing, deploying and marketing the most appropriate and attractive voice and data services for the Panamanian market.

The first test calls on the network have already been successfully completed, and commercial launch is expected in the fourth quarter of 2002.