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Nokia powers Wataniya Telecom’s HSDPA network in Kuwait


First HSDPA network available in the Middle East and Africa region

February 08, 2006, Espoo, Finland -Wataniya Telecom today opened its High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network, making it the first operator in the Middle East and Africa region to offer mobile services beyond 3G. The solution, provided by Nokia, covers Kuwait and enables Wataniya to offer a wide range of services, among which are audio and visual services, matching customers’ expectations. This follows a supply agreement signed in May 2005.

HSDPA is a simple software upgrade to Nokia WCDMA networks, offering breakthrough data speeds. In practice it means that consumers can access the Internet and obtain audio and video services with initial speeds ranging between 1-2 Mbps. The performance of the Nokia HSDPA solution makes real mass-market mobile multimedia possible, and shows further proof of Nokia’s strength in advanced radio network technologies. Nokia is a leader in the HSDPA market, with over 20 contracts to date globally.

“Wataniya is proud to be a pioneer in introducing HSDPA in the Middle East and Africa region. Today, adopting Nokia’s advanced solution complements Wataniya’s strategy to develop the best in broadband services. We continue to offer seamless network access and multimedia content for our customers,” said Harri Koponen, General Manager & CEO, Wataniya Telecom.

“Nokia is strongly committed to the Middle East and Africa markets, and is pleased to play a central role in the opening of the first HSDPA network in the region,” said Walid Moneimne, Senior Vice President, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa region, Networks, Nokia. “We look forward to continuing our cooperation with Wataniya in bringing more attractive services to their customers in the region.”

In May 2005, Nokia won a supply agreement from Wataniya that included the delivery of the Nokia HSDPA solution, supported by Nokia NetAct (TM) network service and management system, and extensive delivery, integration and care services.

About Wataniya Telecom
Commercially launched in December 1999, Wataniya Telecom has been a driving force in increasing the mobile communications market in Kuwait to more than 90 per cent of the population. Wataniya Telecom is actively expanding its presence in the region serving more than 6.3 million customers in countries with a combined total population exceeding 92 million.

Wataniya Telecom has operations in Kuwait, Iraq, Tunisia, Algeria, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia. The company provides a wide range of leading-edge wireless voice and data services, delivered with high quality, designed to cater to the demand of today’s discerning customer.

About Nokia
Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations.

Notes to editors:
For more information on the supply agreement signed in May 2005, please see the press release.


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