Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and leading Russian operator VimpelCom have signed an agreement for the supply and implementation of a WCDMA/HSPA network, plus associated services, to cover seven out of nine macro regions across Russia, including Moscow, the North Caucasus, Siberia, Volga, Northwest Russia, South Russia and the Urals.
Under the five-year agreement, Ericsson will supply a WCDMA/HSPA radio access and core network, including circuit-switching and packet-switching, and subscriber management system Home Location Register (HLR). Ericsson will also be responsible for a range of telecom services, including deployment and integration, systems integration, operation and maintenance assistance, technical support and training.
The move will enable VimpelCom to offer advanced multimedia and high-speed mobile broadband services, such as Mobile TV and video calls, to its subscribers.
Ericsson's High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) provides fast data transmission speeds on both the uplink and downlink. It also boosts network capacity and lowers response times for interactive services. Ericsson's software upgrade of the existing GSM core hardware to a dual access packet core network allows for a smooth and efficient introduction of high speed WCDMA/HSPA services.
Peter Covell, COO at VimpelCom, says, "This agreement is a continuation of our long-term partnership with Ericsson and sets the stage for VimpelCom to introduce cutting-edge services to our customers. We believe that the move will also provide us with a competitive advantage in the telecommunications market."
Zoran Lukovic, Vice-President, Ericsson Eastern Europe and Central Asia, says: "Ericsson is honored to have been selected by VimpelCom for the supply of a state-of-the-art WCDMA/HSPA network. This deal further strengthens our partnership with VimpelCom and will allow them to offer their customers innovative commercial 3G services."
Ericsson is currently powering 86 of the 174 commercial HSPA networks launched worldwide, with many additional ongoing deployments.
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 185 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 189 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm, London and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
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About VimpelCom (www.vimpelcom.com)
The VimpelCom Group includes companies operating in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia. The VimpelCom Group's GSM and 3G license portfolio covers a territory with a population of about 250 million. This includes the entire territories of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia. VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"). VimpelCom's ADSs are listed on the NYSE under the symbol "VIP".
About Ericsson's HSPA solution
HSPA stands for High Speed Packet Access. An inherent advantage of HSPA is that the technology is a natural extension of existing WCDMA/GSM networks, or about 85 percent of the world's existing wireless networks, and therefore has the potential to be readily available to a large number of wireless users, creating a mass market for mobile broadband. By 2010, 71 percent of mobile broadband connections are projected to be HSPA-based. Ericsson's HSPA mobile broadband 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.