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Leap and ANB to expand 3G coverage
Posted: 12-Oct-2005 [Source: Nortel]

[Leap and Alaska Native Broadband 1 License, LLC (ANB) sign agreement with Nortel for CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO equipment to upgrade networks in various US markets. Launch of EV-DO networks set for next year.]

Leap Wireless International, Inc. and Alaska Native Broadband 1 License, LLC (ANB), a Leap joint venture, today announced the signing of three-year agreements collectively estimated at US$130 million with Nortel for 3G wireless network equipment.

The agreements include Nortel CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless technology, which are expected to help enhance the experience of Leap and ANB subscribers by supporting delivery of feature-rich services like Web browsing, streaming audio and video, multimedia messaging, wireless gaming, and VPNs.

Under terms of the agreements, Leap's operating subsidiary, Cricket Communications, Inc., has committed to purchase US$90.5 million of equipment, while ANB has committed to US$39.5 million.

The agreements with Leap and ANB call for Nortel to deploy CDMA2000 1X and EV-DO radio base stations, base station controllers, CDMA Packet MSC switching and other related equipment in various Leap markets and in additional markets that Leap and ANB obtained through the FCC's Auction 58 earlier in 2005. These markets include: San Diego, Houston and Temple/Killeen, Texas for Leap; and San Antonio, Austin, Cincinnati, Lexington, Louisville and Bryan/College Station, Texas for ANB.

Leap and ANB plan to begin the launch of their commercial EV-DO networks in 2006, enabling subscribers to download data on their mobile devices at speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second, which is approximately up to 10 times faster than today's 1X network.

Nortel has supplied wireless infrastructure to Leap since 2000. With these new agreements, Nortel will expand its coverage from five million Leap PoPs (points of presence) to approximately 11 million Leap and 10 million ANB PoPs.


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