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Cricket Communications Awards Nortel US$135 Million For Aws Market expansion


TORONTO – Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] has signed a three year, US$135 million agreement to supply Cricket Communications, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. [NASDAQ: LEAP], with CDMA equipment to expand its network coverage. Cricket will use Nortel CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO Rev A equipment to expand their affordable mobile voice and data services to new markets across the U.S. using recently acquired Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. This supports Cricket’s goal of enriching the mobile experience by offering customers and local businesses flat-rate, unlimited service over a high-quality, all-digital wireless network.

“Cricket is steadily expanding into new markets extending our unlimited services with no long-term commitment wireless plans to more and more subscribers,” said Glenn Umetsu, executive vice president, engineering and technical operations for Leap Wireless. “With Nortel’s support we’ve recently launched markets in New York and North Carolina. We are pleased to expand our commitment with Nortel to bring their advanced CDMA products to our new AWS markets and continue offering our customers advanced voice and data services while maintaining our leadership position on cost.”

Cricket has been expanding its coverage and upgrading its U.S. network with CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev A equipment. The data speed capabilities of Nortel’s Rev A solution assist operators in their efforts to serve more subscribers using the same spectrum and to deliver new bandwidth-hungry applications like VoIP, real-time video, interactive gaming, location based services and rich media content like music and video.

“Cricket’s creative approach to the wireless market meets consumer demand for economical services head-on,” said Richard Lowe, president, Carrier Networks, Nortel. “Their continued choice of Nortel’s CDMA technology is providing Cricket customers with both a great wireless voice solution and the fastest mobile data service available in the market today. CDMA continues to be an excellent network choice for today’s consumer services and, with its economical upgrade path, it provides operators with a competitive advantage as they race to meet the growing demand for high speed data.”

Nortel’s Rev A solution allows users to receive data at burst speeds up to 3.1 Mbps and send data at up to 1.8 Mbps with significantly lower delay. These speeds are comparable to most fixed-line DSL connections.

Since choosing Nortel as a wireless infrastructure supplier in 2000, Cricket has deployed Nortel infrastructure in markets covering more than 26 million potential subscribers. This includes recent market expansions in Burlington and Raleigh-Durham, NC; Charleston, SC; and Rochester, NY. The two companies expect to continue their strong relationship for many years to come. As part of the $135M contract announced today, Cricket will earn credits which can be applied to future products and services.

Nortel supplies EV-DO equipment to 24 of the 47 operators across the globe currently offering commercial EV-DO service. Nortel CDMA equipment is designed to support EV-DO through simple upgrades to existing hardware. Nortel has designed, installed and launched more than 300 wireless networks in over 70 countries.


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