Ericsson selected to deliver new Vodafone 3G infrastructure

Ericsson has been selected as the principal supplier of third-generation (3G) infrastructure for the UK rollout of Vodafone's new 3G network, enabling the next generation of mobile communications services. Vodafone recently succeeded in winning the largest license available to it in the auction held by the UK government.

The new 3G network will be commercially operational in 2002, delivering a new generation of services, including full Internet, video-conferencing and many multimedia services to Vodafone's customers. Ericsson and Vodafone have together been trialing 3G multimedia services, giving both companies first hand practical experience in the deployment of 3G networks.

"I am delighted for Ericsson to have been chosen by Vodafone to play a key role in their expansion into 3G, building on the long-term relationship between our two companies," said Kurt Hellström, President of Ericsson.

Based on WCDMA technology, Ericsson's 3G system to be supplied can also be referred to as UMTS, a European denomination for 3G. UMTS stands for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.

Vodafone is the first UK operator to select Ericsson's 3G WCDMA system. Ericsson has worked with Vodafone as a network infrastructure supplier since the operator launched the UK's first mobile phone network in January 1985.

Peter Bamford, Chief Executive of Vodafone UK Limited, said: "Ericsson has been a strategic partner of Vodafone for many years and we are delighted to further strengthen this relationship by working together on the speedy rollout of our UK 3G network."

Both Ericsson and Vodafone are very active within the international committees working on common standards for 3G technology. In support of its commitment to open standards, Ericsson has agreed to work with Vodafone to enable the introduction of other vendors' products into Vodafone's 3G network, which is expected to commence service in the first quarter of 2002.

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