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World's First Multi-Vendor 3GPP Test Voice Call
Posted: 14-Nov-2001 [Source: Nortel Networks press release]

[The 3G initiative takes another step forward with this interoperability advance.]

Seoul, Korea -- Nortel Networks and Mercury Corporation, one of Korea's leading infrastructure providers, have completed what is believed to be the world's first, multi-vendor test voice call using the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) digital wireless standard.

This represents a significant step in the move to widespread deployment of commercial UMTS voice and data services. Interoperability of equipment from various infrastructure suppliers is expected to enable carriers to rapidly provide access to new wireless Internet services virtually 'anytime, anywhere.'

"Interoperability is an important criteria for wireless carriers when purchasing equipment," said Philip Marshall, senior analyst, Yankee Group. "Interoperability is key to the rapid deployment of UMTS infrastructure. It gives wireless operators choice, and protects their current investments as they transition to next generation wireless data networks."

"We consider open standards as the catalyst for rapid global deployment of UMTS voice and data services," said Pascal Debon, president, Wireless Networks, Nortel Networks. "Korea's wireless operators have expressed a strong interest in deploying UMTS services in time for the May 2002 FIFA World Cup. Together with Mercury Corporation, we have now demonstrated an important milestone as we move toward that goal." "Nortel Networks and Mercury share the same vision of bringing UMTS services to the Korean market rapidly," said Jin-Chan Kim, chief executive officer, Mercury Corporation. "Our relationship in this area has been very fruitful, and we see extending such cooperation to other technologies."

The call was made at a test site of KT ICOM, the 3G services company of Korea Telecom, using a UMTS base station and Radio Network Controller from Nortel Networks, and a Mobile Switching Center and Home Location Register from Mercury Corporation.

Nortel Networks has announced numerous UMTS awards from some of the industry's largest operators, including BT Cellnet, T-Mobile, One 2 One, max.mobil, Telecel, Omnitel, Airtel, Optimus, and AT&T Wireless. Mercury Corporation was spun off from Daewoo Telecom in November 2000. Mercury has a paid-in capital of 87.2 billion Korean won and employs approximately 870 staff. One of its major shareholders is CVC consortium, which includes CVC Asia Pacific Ltd., an investment arm of Citi Group, Carlyle Asia Investment Advisors Ltd. and Prudential's PPM Ventures Asia Ltd.

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