Saudi Telecom (STC) has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) as the prime supplier for its new HSPA network, which will enable STC to introduce a wide range of premium quality multimedia and high-speed data services to the Saudi users. 
 
Under the agreement Ericsson will deliver packet core, radio access and transmission for the new network in the central and western provinces of Saudi Arabia.


The contract also includes a nationwide network upgrade based on Ericsson's market-leading mobile softswitch solution. The system rollout has already started.


Ericsson's HSPA will enable the operator to introduce a new generation of services, such as mobile triple play - a combination of voice, high-speed data and TV on the mobile phone.  The packet core solution will assure that the new IP based services will be delivered cost efficiently with telecom quality.


Saud Al Daweesh, CEO Saudi Telecom, says: "Ericsson's UMTS/HSPA technology will provide us with the advanced equipment available. The decision was based on Ericsson's performance and the quality of its UMTS equipment as well as their roll-out expertise in major network expansions like this one."


Bo-Erik Dahlström, President of Ericsson Middle East, says: "We are pleased to provide STC with our advanced HSPA technology. STC's early launch of HSDPA underlines their innovative profile and will gear their western province network with the most advanced functionalities and services."


Ericsson's HSPA solution will enable peak download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps. The advanced technology offers operators more than double the system capacity and makes response times for interactive services faster. On average, users will be able to download four times faster than the current 3G connection using existing 1.8 Mbps PC-cards and even 20 times faster than using GSM/GPRS.


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.
 
 
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About Ericsson HSPA solutions
HSPA, the first step in the evolution path of WCDMA, enables operators to introduce attractive new services such as Mobile Broadband with Mobile TV, Mobile Music, high speed Internet connectivity and Fixed Wireless services. Ericsson's HSPA solution offers ADSL-like peak data speeds for the downlink up to 3.6 Mbps now and up to 14.4 Mbps in the second half of 2006.
Ericsson is the primary supplier to more than 50% of all commercially launched WCDMA networks and is the primary supplier to the world's first commercial HSDPA launches, HSPA for the downlink. Ericsson expects first commercial launches of HSPA for the uplink, HSUPA, to take place early 2007.
 
About Ericsson Softswitch solutions
Ericsson is the leading provider of Softswich solutions for both mobile and wireline networks.  Ericsson's solutions are commercially proven and fully standards-compliant, offering an efficient and low-risk evolution of existing circuit-switched networks to a telecom quality, IP based service platform. They use network resources in the most cost efficient way to provide both classic telephony and next generation services. More than 70 fixed and mobile operators worldwide have commercially launched services based on Ericsson's Softswitch solutions.


About Ericsson transmission solutions
Ericsson's ability to support operators in installing and expanding transmission networks is built on unique long-term experience. Our transmission expertise extends across all types of networks: some 300 customers in about 140 countries benefited from our transmission and transport solutions during 2005. Ericsson is the undisputed market leader in microwave transmission and has historically delivered more than 900,000 MINI-LINK all around the world.