Vodafone AirTouch, Nortel Networks Plan Wireless Internet Trial in Dallas

All-IP Network Expected to Lower Operator Costs, Enable New Services for Consumers

Vodafone AirTouch* [NYSE/LSE: VOD] and Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] will conduct a Wireless Internet trial in Dallas beginning in March to demonstrate a packet-based, IP (Internet Protocol) architecture designed to offer service providers an order of magnitude improvement in the cost to deliver high-quality wireless voice and data services for consumers.

The trial is expected to show that the cost of wireless service can be significantly reduced by transforming today’s circuit-switched networks to Unified Networks* solutions using packet technology, industry-standard servers and third generation (3G) radio technology.

Part of an on-going, cooperative effort to understand the drivers, economics and technical realities of an all-IP wireless network, the trial is also expected to showcase an open architectural foundation for a new generation of high-value, revenue generating Wireless Internet services.

“We anticipate that more efficient wireless networks based on IP and packet technology will allow us to bring greater value and service differentiation to our customers while reducing our operating costs,” said Bill Keever, executive vice-president, network and systems operations, AirTouch Cellular. “Our Wireless Internet trial with Nortel Networks will help us to develop a better understanding of the dramatic changes ahead for wireless networks, and the architectures required to address them.”

“We’ve driven down the cost of long distance and, with this architecture, we expect to do the same for wireless while providing the foundation for a new generation of services,” said Hermon Pon, chief technology officer, wireless solutions, Nortel Networks.

“Working with leading-edge customers like Vodafone AirTouch, we’re driving the evolution of a profitable new Internet – a high-performance, highly-reliable engine for economic growth,” Pon said. “Together, we have the networking, radio, IP and real world customer experience to help make the Wireless Internet a successful commercial reality.”

The trial will incorporate Nortel Networks’ CDMA Metro Cell radio base stations – using cdmaOne* digital radio technology – with a backbone network featuring Nortel Networks’ Passport* packet switching equipment. The base stations will be upgraded to include cdma2000* 1XRTT 3G radio technology later in the year.

Vodafone AirTouch and Nortel Networks are also working together on a 3G wireless trial in the UK. Announced in December, this trial includes IP networking and W-CDMA 3G wireless radio technology.

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