Airtel Movil SA, Spain's second largest wireless carrier, has selected Nortel Networks to build the initial phase of its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to provide Wireless Internet service throughout Spain, subject to execution of a definitive
agreement anticipated to be worth US$100 million over 12 months.
UMTS will use third generation (3G) wireless technology to provide unconstrained access to information, e-mail, eBusiness, real-time video and other high-performance Wireless Internet services through a variety of personal, portable devices. UMTS service is expected to be available to more than 80 percent of the European population by 2010.
"We intend to be first to launch commercial UMTS in Europe," said Ignacio S. Galen, chief executive officer, Airtel, which plans to begin offering UMTS service to business and residential customers in 23 major urban areas across
Spain in August 2001.
The second major Nortel Networks UMTS win announced to date, this builds on the industry's acknowledged #1 Wireless Internet infrastructure strategy to strengthen Nortel Networks' leadership position in the European UMTS infrastructure equipment market, forecast by industry analysts to reach US$36 billion by 2003.
UK wireless carrier BT Cellnet announced selection of Nortel Networks as principal supplier for its nationwide UMTS in May.
"We need a supplier who can work with us to build the most reliable 3G network, and to make UMTS service a reality in Spain," Airtel's Galen said.
"UMTS is the future of the Wireless Internet, and we look forward to working with Nortel Networks to gain first-mover advantage in this important
"As a leader in creating the new, high-performance Internet, Nortel Networks is well positioned in the expanding UMTS infrastructure market in Europe," said Pascal Debon, president, Service Provider Solutions for Nortel Networks. "We look forward to building on the success we've had with Airtel and BT Cellnet with other license winners across Europe."
"We're also a world leader in developing wireless capabilities," Debon said. "Our end-to-end solution provides operators with cost and time-to-market advantages as they strive to introduce exciting new Wireless Internet services."
The Nortel Networks UMTS solution includes Nortel Networks e-mobility* Internet Base Stations (iBTS) for wide area radio coverage; packet-based
core networks featuring Nortel Networks Passport* Extranet switches; Nortel Networks Preside network management; Nortel Networks Shasta services management; and network implementation services.
It is an integral part of the Nortel Networks 'Wings of Light' strategy, which unifies Optical and Wireless Internet capabilities to help customers establish first-mover advantage in the race to bring profitable Wireless Internet services to market. As part of this strategy, Nortel Networks recently announced creation of 2,000 new high-tech jobs across Europe, and
the creation of Wireless Centers of Excellence in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.