Nokia's share of Cingular order worth over $1 bn

CIOL Bureau
New Update

Paul de Bendern


HELSINKI: Telecoms equipment maker Nokia said on Monday its share of a big

order to build a high-speed mobile phone network across the United States for US

carrier Cingular Wireless was worth over $1 billion.

Nokia, the world's largest maker of mobile phones, declined to say if its

share of the deal, initially announced in late October, was larger than that of

its rival Ericsson.

Cingular Wireless, the second-largest US wireless operator, announced in

October it would upgrade its entire wireless phone network to a system that

delivers Internet data on handsets faster than standard mobile networks.


The upgrade will make Cingular, a joint venture of BellSouth Corp and SBC

Communications Inc, competitive with other US rivals and bring its services into

line with those built in Asia and Europe, currently more advanced mobile


Nokia, Ericsson -- the world's largest manufacturer of mobile networks -- and

Siemens were chosen to deliver the so-called GSM/GPRS/EDGE equipment to Cingular.

"We are...pleased that Cingular Wireless has chosen Nokia as a key

supplier. We feel strongly that this deployment will demonstrate to the industry

at large the strengths of the GPRS/EDGE path to 3G," said Nokia Networks

Senior Vice President Timothy Eckersley.


Arja Suominen, spokeswoman at Nokia, which is trying hard to challenge

Ericsson as the top supplier of mobile networks, told Reuters no vendor

financing was involved in the Cingular deal.

3G services coming to US

Cingular is moving to a so-called EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global
Evolution) system which will deliver mobile users data at rates of up to 470,000

bits a second -- fast enough to watch video clips over phones.


Moving to EDGE will enable Cingular to offer third-generation (3G) data

services, like picture, audio and text messaging over handsets, that work with

networks in Europe and Asia. Cingular's backing for EDGE technology pushes the

company down the path of embracing international standards used in more than 110

countries, instead of relying on alternative technology from US equipment

supplier Qualcomm Inc.

As part of the upgrade to EDGE, Cingular will be installing GSM voice

technology on its existing networks. GSM (Global System for Mobile

Communications) is the world's leading digital wireless technology, very popular

in Europe. The networks' upgrade is also aimed at allowing Cingular to offer

services on current GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and future 3G

technologies. Both will enable consumers to faster download data.

Phones powered with GPRS technology are currently being sold in Europe while

3G devices are on sale in Japan, the world's most advanced mobile Internet


Nokia said deliveries and a nationwide rollout of the GSM/EDGE network would

start next year. Cingular said in late October the upgrade would take place over

the next 12 to 18 months. Nokia said it would deliver both core network and

radio-access network systems, including base stations and GPRS network


(C) Reuters Limited.