Ericsson wins USD 100 million first GPRS contract in Ukraine

Ericsson has been awarded an exclusive contract from Kyivstar for the first GPRS system in Ukraine. The contract will also expand Kyivstar's coverage and includes the addition of GSM 1800 for dual-band enhanced capacity. Under the terms of the contract, valued at USD 100 million (SEK 940 million), Ericsson will provide GPRS/GSM core and radio access infrastructure equipment, enabling advanced mobile Internet services to be in commercial operation by the second half of 2001.

Kyivstar GSM Joint Stock Company (Kyivstar) began commercial operations in December 1997 and is today the fastest growing mobile operator in the Ukraine mobile market.

The contract covers a major core and radio access infrastructure expansion of Kyivstar's existing GSM network, and includes supply and implementation of GSM 1800 and GPRS. Ericsson's GPRS solution will integrate Kyivstar's GSM mobile network with the datacoms/Internet world, making it possible for the Ukrainian operator to offer packet-switched IP services with wireless access to Internet and intranet and other multimedia services.

GPRS is an important step in the evolution to 3G networks. "We are committed to providing enhanced coverage and quality of service to our customers. Over the next few months, Kyivstar will add GSM 1800 infrastructure in the main cities of Ukraine, and we expect our GPRS service to be up and running already during the autumn," says Mr. Igor Litovechenko, President of Kyivstar. "GPRS will further help pave the way for an exciting array of mobile services never before experienced in Ukraine that will ultimately transform the way our customers live and work."

GPRS is the key to enhancing current GSM data services, which allow customers easy access to the Internet or other data services available in the office while away from office or from home. "This contract further strengthens our longstanding relationship with Kyivstar and is an important milestone for Ericsson and for Ukraine," says Mr. Leif Edwall, President of Ericsson in Ukraine. "It confirms the companies' parallel strategies - to be leaders in delivering the mobile Internet to consumers as quickly as possible."

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