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Austar And Nortel Working To Deliver World-Class Wimax For Regional Australians


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – Following several months of competitive trials, AUSTAR United Broadband (AUB) has selected Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] as the preferred vendor for its proposed WiMAX network in regional Australia. AUB and Nortel arrangements are subject to final negotiations.

The WiMAX network would provide regional Australians with a real alternative for local access services, delivering true broadband speeds at comparatively low costs to regional residential and business customers, many of whom cannot currently access the Internet at speeds over 256kbps.

AUSTAR CEO, John Porter, said, “Nortel has established itself as a global leader in the future of WiMAX. They’ve committed tremendous resources to the research and development of the technology worldwide and as a company they’re responsive and flexible in meeting the customer’s needs. We’re excited about working with Nortel as we look to provide Australians with not only a real alternative, but one that is the future of broadband in Australia.

“Austar’s low-cost network can be rolled out quickly, with Nortel’s WiMAX technology, at a cost-per-megabit and performance advantage that reflects a substantial improvement on the comparable costs, speed and quality of 3G mobile broadband offerings”, Mr. Porter said. “3G is voice-originated, not developed for data. If you want high-speed, portable, low-cost broadband, you need to go directly to 4G, and that’s WiMAX.”

Mark Stevens, President of Nortel Australia & New Zealand, said, “Nortel has been a pioneer in OFDM and MIMO, the technologies underlying WiMAX and future broadband networks, which have been chosen by the industry group, the WiMAX Forum, as the basis for the mobile WiMAX standard. We’re currently working on WiMAX projects around the world with a strong focus on Asia Pacific, and are delighted to add AUB to our Australian experience.”

Nortel’s WiMAX solutions are powering Taiwan’s Mobile Healthcare Services through a recently announced agreement with Chunghwa Telecom. Nortel also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs to jointly develop a full end-to-end WiMAX ecosystem, and announced the establishment of a Centre of Excellence-WiMAX 4G Ecosystem in Taipei.

Nortel is conducting WiMAX trials and completing network deployments around the world, notably in Taiwan, Australia, Japan, USA, Germany, Canada, Greece, Russia and Mexico. Nortel is working with Intel and other major global vendors to create a WiMAX ecosystem to meet the market’s needs. In May, Nortel and Toshiba announced an agreement for the joint development of mobile WiMAX base stations for Japanese and global markets.

About AUSTAR United Broadband (AUB)

AUSTAR United Broadband (AUB) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Austar United Communications Ltd (AUSTAR), a leading provider of subscription television services in regional and rural Australia. AUSTAR holds spectrum licenses in regional Australia, representing around one third of Australian homes, which enables the company to rollout low-cost high speed broadband networks. The company operates two trial markets in Wagga Wagga and Tamworth. Liberty Global Inc., the leading international cable operator serving approximately 16 million customers in 17 countries, holds an indirect controlling stake in AUSTAR. For more information, visit Austar**


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