Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has been selected by Bhutan Telecom (BTL) to supply a WCDMA/HSPA network in a move set to transform the mountain kingdom's communications into a state-of-the-art network.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ericsson will supply an HSPA-enabled network, including WCDMA radio access equipment, all-IP core and transmission. Ericsson will also be responsible for network design, deployment and integration of BTL's existing GSM network. 

Rollout will begin in November, starting in the towns of Thimpu and Paro before going nationwide. The new state-of-the-art network will provide a host of services, including high-speed internet access, e-mail, video telephony, MMS (multimedia messaging) and many innovative content-based services.

Thinley Dorji, Managing Director at BTL, says: "The need to roll out a state-of-the-art network cost-effectively to provide our customers with the best possible communication experience was of paramount importance. This contract extends our long-running relationship with Ericsson, with their industry expertise making them the natural partner of choice for this project."

Mats Granryd, President for Ericsson in India and Sri Lanka says: "Ericsson is extremely proud to be selected by Bhutan Telecom for the first WCDMA/HSPA launch in the country and it reflects our broader vision of bringing communications to all."

Notes to editors:
Ericsson's WCDMA/HSPA reference list:

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 Bhutan Telecom Limited
Bhutan Telecom is a government-owned corporation operating in all telecom domains including fixed-line, broadband, GSM, ISP and ILD.  Bhutan Telecom is committed to providing the latest services to its subscribers.


About Ericsson's HSPA solution
Ericsson's HSPA solution, part of Ericsson's Full Service Broadband offering, today enables download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and upload speeds of 1.4Mbps. The advanced technology lets operators more than double their system capacity and cuts response times for interactive services. On average, users will be able to download 20 times faster than with a GSM/GPRS connection. Future evolution steps will increase the HSPA download speed to 42Mbps and the upload speed to 12Mbps. Ericsson offers HSPA support on many frequency bands ranging from 850MHz to 2.6GHz.