AT&T Wireless Services [NYSE: AWE] has signed a letter of intent to purchase advanced IP (Internet Protocol) infrastructure equipment
from Nortel Networks* [NYSE/TSE: NT] for its next generation of high-performance Wireless Internet services.
Subject to execution of a definitive agreement, Nortel Networks will supply a complete new core network infrastructure for AT&T Wireless. Nortel
Networks will also work with AT&T Wireless on creation of an application lab focusing on development and integration of innovative Wireless Internet services.
Supporting the latest, third generation (3G) global wireless standards, this network will enhance communications and enable mobile commerce for AT&T Wireless subscribers by enabling delivery of high-speed Wireless Internet
access, video, data, graphics and other broadband multimedia services directly to the very latest handheld mobile telephones, personal digital
assistants (PDAs), laptop and notebook computers, and other advanced, personal computing devices.
"This new network will begin to enable many of the futuristic conveniences and services now only imagined in TV commercials," said Frank Plastina,
president, Wireless Internet, Nortel Networks.
"We share a common vision with AT&T for how we can evolve today's wireless networks with third generation technology to move these types of services from vision to reality - and sooner rather than later," Plastina said.
"We have developed considerable experience with the Nortel Networks core infrastructure through our GPRS high-speed trial running since June 2000," said Mohan Gyani, president and chief executive officer, AT&T Wireless Services. "We selected Nortel Networks because of its broad portfolio of network services and platform capabilities in supporting IP core networks,
which will allow us to offer different classes of wireless data services to our customers."
Selection by AT&T Wireless for its new core network reinforces Nortel Networks growing global leadership position in solutions for building the
high-performance Wireless Internet. Nortel Networks 'Wings of Light' strategy combines optical, wireless and IP technologies to help operators profitably provide highly reliable, high-speed access to broadband Internet
services virtually 'anytime, anywhere.'
"Nortel Networks has demonstrated a significant commitment of technology in continuing support of our successful TDMA network," Gyani said. "They will bring this continued level of expertise to deployment of our third generation network."
The Nortel Networks IP core network infrastructure solution for AT&T
Wireless will support evolution from today's second generation wireless standards to 2.5G and 3G standards including GPRS (General Packet Radio
Service), EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) and UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System).
"This new technology will enable AT&T to offer its customers enhanced, high-speed data services and international roaming, with the ability to
provision data services at different levels based on Quality of Service (QOS) and other metrics," Plastina said. "Our IP core network solution will
provide these capabilities with any radio access technology in any network."
UMTS is designed to provide high-speed access to information, e-mail, real-time video and other Wireless Internet services through a variety of
personal, portable devices. The new AT&T Wireless network is expected to be one of the first to support UMTS outside of Europe and Japan.
Nortel Networks recently won major European UMTS network awards - estimated to be worth a total of more than US$ 1.8 billion - including a five-year
contract with BT Cellnet in the UK, a 12-month build out for Airtel in Spain, and a three-year deal with Xfera, also in Spain.
Nortel Networks packet-based IP core network solution for GSM/GPRS/EDGE and UMTS includes Nortel Networks Passport* multiservice switching platform and Nortel Networks Shasta* 5000 Broadband Service Node.