Ericsson and Meteor sign contract in Ireland for WCDMA/HSPA

Press release
Jun 05, 2008 09:00 (GMT +00:00)
Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has signed an agreement with the Irish operator Meteor Mobile Communications (Meteor) as the sole supplier for a WCDMA/HSPA network including microwave transmission.  
Under the terms of the contract, Ericsson will supply a WCDMA/HSPA radio access network and a new microwave transmission network. The deal also allows for the introduction of exciting new services such as social networking, music downloads and video content. Meteor has already achieved 10% 3G population coverage, and is on target to reach 33% coverage by the end of September 2008 covering the Dublin and Cork areas.
Commenting on the announcement, Larry Smith, Meteor's CEO says: "This deal extends our successful partnership with Ericsson in the mobile and fixed line market, over a number of years, into the next important phase in our development to deliver the most advanced 3G mobile broadband network in Ireland. This is an exciting time for our company and for the Irish mobile market. For the first time ever Meteor will deliver high speed 3G data products and services combined with an exceptional customer experience."
John Hennessy, Head of Ericsson Ireland, says: "We are delighted and privileged to be selected as Meteor's partner building on our successful relationship with the eircom Group established over a number of years. This deal reinforces Ericsson's technology leadership and will help Meteor tap into the interesting and evolving market for Mobile broadband services."
Ericsson has been the sole supplier to Meteor for GSM core & radio access equipment since 2004. Ericsson also supplied Meteor with the initial build out for 10% 3G population coverage in 2007. In the new contract, Ericsson will supply Meteor with microwave transmission equipment and WCDMA/HSPA radio access equipment to extend the existing network.
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 195 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 188 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
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About eircom Group and Meteor
eircom is the leading provider of fixed-line telecommunications services in Ireland. eircom has the most extensive fixed-line telecommunications network in Ireland in terms of both capacity and geographic reach. The company has over 1.2 million customers and provides a comprehensive range of advanced voice, data and internet services to the residential, business and enterprise markets. eircom's mobile division, Meteor, was acquired on November 23, 2005 and is Ireland's third largest mobile phone operator. With the primary aim of bringing real competition and its benefits to the Irish mobile market, Meteor has enjoyed unprecedented growth and now has over 19% share of the mobile market with 975,000 subscribers as of 31st March.  Further details of Meteor are available on their website The company which was formerly listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges, was purchased by Australian firm Babcock & Brown Capital Ltd (ASX:BCM) together with the eircom Employee Share Ownership Trust (ESOT) in August 2006.
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, provides substantial system capacity and cuts response times for interactive services. Ericsson offers HSPA support on many frequency bands ranging from 850MHz, 900MHz up to 2.6GHz.
About Ericsson microwave transmission
Ericsson is the market leader in microwave transmission and has delivered more than 1.5 million microwave radios all around the world. The portfolio consists of the well-established MINI-LINK family strengthened by the Marconi LH trunk radio. It enables deployment and evolution of networks in a step-by-step way, supports any legacy and results in lowest cost of ownership.
Ericsson offers a complete range of managed microwave transmission solutions and services for mobile, fixed and converged networks. The flexible hardware, outstanding production capacity and ability to offer complete turnkey site solutions provides operators with quick and efficient rollout of networks.