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Baikalwestcom, Nortel Team Up To Extend Wireless Coverage Across Eastern Siberia


MOSCOW/IRKUTSK - Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] and Baikalwestcom announced a new contract for a wireless network extension in 2007 that will enable Baikalwestcom to increase its network capacity and expand its mobile services coverage to new areas of Siberia. This contract announcement marks another milestone in a continuing three-year cooperation between Nortel and Baikalwestcom - Eastern Siberia’s leading service provider.

Under the terms of the new contract for GSM wireless equipment, Baikalwestcom will increase its core network capacity to better support subscribers in the densely populated metropolitan areas of Irkutsk, Bratsk and Angarsk and extend and improve its wireless network to deliver services across a wider area of Eastern Siberia. Baikalwestcom also intends to extend GPRS data services such as the delivery of Internet access into more rural areas across the Irkutsk region.

The Baikalwestcom coverage area will also be expanded to provide updated communication services in the large East Siberian region with more than 50 rural towns and villages and the company also intends to deliver uninterrupted coverage along all the major highways within the Irkutsk region.

During 2006, Nortel and Baikalwestcom worked together to put into commercial operation the first stage of the Baikalwestcom network extension project, which consisted of a core systems upgrade and the deployment of more than 400 Nortel base stations and GPRS-subsystems, as well as launch of EDGE technology within the Baikalwestcom coverage area. This enabled Baikalwestcom to increase the volume of its commercial services, including SMS and mobile Internet services such as music and video downloads and multimedia services.

“Significantly increasing our subscriber base, launching new services, and considerably increasing the GPRS and Internet services area of our service portfolio are the primary aims for our continuing cooperation with Nortel for 2007,” said Vladimir Shapovalov, CEO, Baikalwestcom JSC. “And, we need to do all this in addition to enhancing the quality and reliability of all our communications.”

“Nortel helps operators all over the world realize their most ambitious and challenging communications projects. Our new project with Baikalwestcom is aimed at increasing network capacity and reach and adding subscribers and as a long-term target - making the network ”broadband-ready“ so that Baikalwestcom can deliver low-cost broadband services. This is improving service today and creating a path to the future, which is very important for Baikalwestcom,” said Sorin Lupu, president Eastern Europe, Nortel.

Baikalwestcom is deploying over 350 Nortel GSM base stations (BTS18000) across Siberia. The company will also use Nortel software upgrades to increase the capacity of its existing three DMS switches, located in Irkutsk, Bratsk, and Angarsk.

Nortel has designed, installed and launched more than 300 wireless networks in over 70 countries. Nortel was the industry’s first supplier with wireless networks operating in all advanced radio technologies (GSM/GPRS/EDGE, CDMA2000 1x and 1xEV-DO, and WLAN) and is the only end-to-end provider of all next generation wireless solutions.


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