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Multi-Links Selects Nortel to Expand Mobile Broadband Services in Nigeria


Nortel’s EV-DO Rev A Solution Helps Meet Increasing Demand for Wireless Internet

LAGOS, Nigeria - Multi-Links Telecommunications Ltd., one of Nigeria’s leading service providers, has entered into a three-year frame contract with Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] l to expand and upgrade its wireless network.

The initial phase of the contract has been awarded and is valued at US $45 million. The enhanced network will use Nortel’s CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev A solution to bring high-speed mobile broadband services to Multi-Links’ growing subscriber base in the metropolitan region of Lagos, the prime economic center of the country.

Lagos is the most populous urban area in Africa with more than eight million people and Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 140 million. However, even with large numbers of potential subscribers, the country has an Internet penetration of only 6.75 percent, according to International Telecommunications Union statistics. Nigeria is listed by Goldman Sachs as one of the “Next Eleven**” economies with high growth potential, and is one of the fastest growing in the world according to the International Monetary Fund.

Nortel’s 1xEV-DO Rev A solution will give Multi-Links the network capacity to grow its subscriber base by bringing wireless communications to more people in Lagos. This broader network coverage is expected to fulfil subscriber demand of people in Nigeria for access to the internet from work, home and on the move.

“Multi-Links has begun an aggressive rollout program to increase network capacity with plans to provide broadband coverage for 80 percent of the Nigerian population by 2011 and 100 percent of the population by 2013,” said Justin Ramayia, CEO, Multi-Links. “We’ve been working with Nortel since our early beginnings in 1996. With this deployment, Nortel is helping to ensure that Multi-Links can meet growing market demand in Nigeria for reliable voice and broadband services that will strengthen our competitive edge.”

“Multi-Links will be one of the first service providers to bring mobile broadband services to consumers and businesses in Nigeria,” said Michel Clement, president, Nortel Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Nortel is continually enhancing its CDMA offerings enabling customers like Multi-Links to improve voice and data services for their subscribers while putting in place the building blocks for evolving to 4G mobile broadband.”

The combination of next-generation network components provided by Nortel will allow Multi-Links to reliably serve more customers on the same spectrum while delivering advanced broadband services that can enhance the end user experience and increase subscriber loyalty. The new Nortel network will be based on upgrades to Multi-Links’ current network assets thereby maximizing the value of their prior investments and providing a simple and cost-effective evolution path to 1xEV-DO Rev A. The faster data rates offered by 1xEV-DO Rev A (up to 3.1 Mbps in the forward link and 1.8 Mbps in the reverse link) combined with Nortel’s high Quality of Service (QoS) and the Nortel Packet Mobile Switching Centre (MSC) will support 3G services such as video-on-demand, large file uploads/downloads and high performance push-to-talk/see capability.

The Multi-Links network will include Nortel’s industry leading Enhanced Base Station Controller, EV-DO Radio Network Controller and suite of base stations that support 1x and 1xEV-DO Rev A. Nortel’s base stations are designed and built with unique innovations in Power Amplifiers and transceivers which provide significant reductions in power consumption while creating a more environmentally friendly network that is less expensive to run.

Nortel will provide skilled resources from its Global Services to conduct the global project management from network design and planning to implementation, including installation, RF planning, commissioning and integration with other third parties.

Nortel has provided equipment for over 50 percent of all commercially deployed 1x EV-DO networks worldwide including Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel in the United States, Peoplenet in Ukraine and Movicel in Angola. Nortel was the first to commercially offer 1xEV-DO in South America with Embratel (Brazil), in Central America with Telefonica Guatemala, and the first to commercially offer EV-DO in 450 MHz in Eastern Europe with Telefónica - O2. Nortel is conducting LTE trials in 2008 and has conducted the world’s first LTE Live-Air and Mobility demonstrations.


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