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Nokia confirms GPRS programs are on track, addresses technology outlook
Posted: 04-Sep-2001 [Source: Nokia press release]

[Nokia's GPRS handsets continue to be on target for their release dates the remainder of this year.]

Matti Alahuhta, President, Nokia Mobile Phones, today in New York reiterates Nokia's intention to release its GPRS products according to its announced plan. The first units of the Nokia 8310 will become available in September, while the Nokia 6310 will start selling in the 4th quarter, and the Nokia 8390 at the end of 2001. Alahuhta, speaking at an investor conference, also gives updates on various mobile phone industry related topics. His presentation will be available as a live WebCast on www.nokia.com/investor from 12.50 to 1.30 pm EST and will also be archived for later viewing at the same site. Extracts of Alahuhta's speech have been highlighted below.

"With the GPRS business system, our industry is moving to a new level of complexity, which means that careful attention has had to been paid to the smooth functioning of all elements of the entire system before the volume roll-out of terminals and services. This year we estimate the GPRS terminal market volume to be about 10 million units but expect its share of the GSM handset market to rise to over 50% in two years' time. Our GPRS phone tests give us confidence that our products will perform to high expectations when they are released to the market.

"A key element in the overall success of GPRS is the ability of multiple vendors to consistently test GPRS features between infrastructure and terminals in order to deploy interoperable products in the market. I am happy to say that all leading manufacturers are unanimous on the importance of moving GPRS forward as a joint effort, following a commonly agreed process of interoperability testing in relation to new features. This kind of broad industry consensus is essential for the successful rollout of the new mobile services.

"GPRS technology is an important shift in our industry because of packet switching. For the consumer, this means being 'always connected' to services. But the fundamental transformation in our industry comes through a combination of several additional evolving technologies. WAP/XHTML, Java and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) will all contribute to the creation of a new growth wave, which is rapidly approaching. Within 12 months Nokia will introduce a wide array of new mobile phones, including new product concepts, based on these technologies.

"The expansion of personal messaging over MMS will follow the phenomenal success of SMS based transactions. According to external estimates, over 200 billion SMS messages will be transmitted in GSM networks this year. We will start delivering MMS in our products during the first half of next year. Our first dual-mode GSM/WCDMA 3rd Generation (3G) terminal will also be an MMS-enabled imaging phone.

"As a natural evolution of the 2G and 2.5G technologies, 3G will further enhance the mass market proliferation of mobile services. For the consumer, this transition will be a seamless process, becoming visible in the rising quality of the services. Much of what we envisage of the 3G services and applications is already possible today with the Nokia 9210 Communicator, which we are delivering at full capacity. But similar features are rapidly cascading to several other product categories. For example, Web access is quickly becoming a standard feature in mobile phones: we estimate the market volume of browser phones to be over 200 million this year, while 90% of all phones sold in 2005 will be Web-enabled.

"Our 3G product programs are proceeding very well. A couple of weeks ago we completed the world's first 3GPP Release 99 December 00 version standard compliant end-to-end WCDMA call in Finland, using our actual commercial terminal prototypes in GSM and WCDMA modes. We have now reached the target density in the chipset integration, allowing us to implement both GSM and WCDMA protocols into the same chipset. The following week we completed the first international WCDMA call between Finland and NTT DoCoMo's FOMA network in Japan. These steps give us the confidence to reiterate that the first Nokia 3G terminals will start shipping in the 3rd quarter, 2002 with volumes rising into the millions during the 4th quarter. As further evidence of Nokia's capabilities across all mobile technologies, we have today announced the successful completion of a CDMA2000 high-speed packet data call on a Nokia prototype handset powered by a Nokia CDMA chipset.

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