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Ericsson brings HSDPA to SmarTone-Vodafone in Hong Kong


July 31, 2006, Hong Kong mobile operator SmarTone-Vodafone launches Hong Kong’s first commercial mobile broadband service with full HSDPA coverage in Hong Kong, pioneering the technology in the Greater China region. This launch follows the successful upgrade by Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY) of SmarTone-Vodafone’s 3G/WCDMA network with HSDPA.

The upgrade to HSDPA enables SmarTone-Vodafone to deliver true broadband speed of up to 1.8Mbps to laptops, and introduce its customers to a new generation of mobile broadband services with true mobility and real freedom to move. At this stage, users will be able to download five times faster than the current 3G connection using existing PC-cards, and 20 times faster than with a GSM/GPRS connection. Under the agreement, Ericsson has delivered HSDPA hardware, software and implementation services.

Douglas Li, CEO of SmarTone-Vodafone, says: “We are pleased to be the first operator in Hong Kong as well as the Greater China region to offer mobile broadband with full HSDPA coverage throughout the territory. The launch represents what real 3G can achieve and demonstrates how 3G with HSDPA can bring substantially better benefits to both business users and consumers through our Mobile Broadband service.”

Johan Adler, President of Ericsson Hong Kong, says: “We are proud to support SmarTone-Vodafone with the introduction of HSDPA services, bringing this key technology to Hong Kong consumers at a very early stage. SmarTone-Vodafone’s early launch of HSDPA underlines their innovative profile and will gear their network with the most advanced functionalities and services.”

This is another significant step in the long-standing, successful partnership between Ericsson and SmarTone-Vodafone, following the 3G launch in Hong Kong in 2004. Ericsson has previously been selected by SmarTone-Vodafone as sole supplier of Core and Radio Networks, including GPRS and WCDMA/3G.

Ericsson’s HSDPA solution will enable peak download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps. The advanced technology offers operators more than double the system capacity and makes response times for interactive services faster. SmarTone-Vodafone is planning to upgrade to a maximum speed of 14.4 Mbps by 2007/08.

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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About SmarTone-Vodafone
SmarTone-Vodafone is Hong Kong’s leading mobile services company in multimedia services. Its goal is to better enrich customers’ lives by bringing them closer to what matters to them -- a world of greater possibilities and achievements. SmarTone-Vodafone is a GSM operator and a 3G services provider in Hong Kong. The commercial launch of 3G-enabled services at the end of 2004 for both consumers and business users is a key milestone in the company’s development in multimedia services. SmarTone-Vodafone is the marketing brand for SmarTone Mobile Communications Limited following the signing of a Partner Network Agreement with Vodafone. Established in 1992, the company has been listed in Hong Kong since 1996. Its major shareholder is Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited.
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