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Ericsson to provide cutting-edge network for O2 in Ireland


August 30, 2006, Leading operator O2 has selected Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) as a sole supplier for its Irish HSDPA-enabled 3G network. Ericsson will also expand and modernize O2’s existing network with Ericsson IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch solution.

Under the four-year agreement, Ericsson will provide new 2G and 3G core network equipment, including mobile softswitch, and upgrade the access network with HSDPA technology. Ericsson will have the prime integrator role and will provide network deployment and systems integration services for building the network. The deployment will start immediately.

O2 Ireland will become the first Irish operator to launch a 3.6Mbps HSDPA network, providing its 1.6 million customers with the most advanced mobile network technology in the world.

Ericsson’s HSDPA solution will enable O2 Ireland to introduce a new generation of mobile broadband services, including mobile TV and video, and mobile-music-related services. With download speeds up to 3.6Mbps, O2 subscribers will also enjoy a richer communication experience.

O2 has taken important steps to an all-IP network. Ericsson IMS and Mobile Softswitch will bring both flexibility and cost efficiency. O2 will be able to offer a richer user experience; with one common system for all broadband services, users will have the freedom to access any multimedia service with the most convenient device at any given moment.

Danuta Gray, CEO, O2 Ireland, says: “Ericsson’s state-of-the-art technology and experience will allow us to provide a best-in-class end-to-end customer experience. It will also enable us to make a giant leap forward on the Irish mobile broadband market, remove the interoperability complexities of dual-vendor networks and shorten the lead time for new services.”

John Hennessy, managing director, Ericsson Ireland, says: “We are honored to be O2’s partner in transforming and expanding its network, enabling mobile broadband and the multimedia era and we look forward to a strong long-term relationship.”

Ericsson’s HSDPA solution will enable download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps later this year. 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 four times faster than with current 3G connections using existing PC cards, and 20 times faster than with a GSM/GPRS connection.

Ericsson is the leader in IMS and mobile softswitch, with more than 50 mobile softswitch networks in full commercial service and with 21 IMS system contracts for commercial launch. Ericsson has 150 mobile softswitch contracts or trials in progress worldwide and more than 50 additional IMS trials.

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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