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H3G chooses technological partners for its UMTS network

Ericsson and Siemens-NEC will be the suppliers of the H3G network in Italy.

H3G, the first mobile multimedia operator of the Italian market, has chosen Ericsson and Siemens-NEC as technological partners for the building of its UMTS network.

H3G thus becomes the first Italian operator to start the construction of a broadband mobile network, entirely designed according to the IP standard. Ericsson, in collaboration with H3G, will constitute a research center in Milan dedicated to the development and integration of new 3G services.

Regarding the partnership announced today, the Swedish company Ericsson is to build the core network component that constitutes the fixed network infrastructure and 45% of the radio access components.

Siemens-NEC will build 55% of the radio access component of the H3G network.

The rollout plan of the H3G network estimates 2000 sites on air by the commercial launch of the service, planned for the summer of 2002. These will increase to more than 7500 by 2006.

Vincenzo Novari, H3G CEO, has emphasized how the technological partners chosen by the company guarantee high-quality support and technical assistance, thanks to the capillarity of their presence on the Italian territory. "Among the competitive advantages we have assured with the selection of these suppliers, there is also the possibility of carrying out a faster distribution of the network infrastructures through the supply of sites on a "turn-key" basis. Moreover, the geographic positioning of our partners assures us direct access to the best of world technologies, including the Asian area, destined - together with Europe - to play a key role in the development of mobile communications of the third generation."

"We are proud to have been chosen by H3G as key suppliers for the building of their UMTS network - explains Massimo Gentili, CEO of Ericsson Telecomunicazioni - and as a privileged partner in the development of applications and services. Ericsson will stand by H3G with its "end-to-end" solutions for the success of the third generation. This is a confirmation of how Ericsson continues to guide the evolution of mobile communication in Italy also towards the UMTS."

"H3G's choice - affirms Massimo Sarmi, CEO of Siemens S.p.A. - is the result not only of Siemens's high technological level and reliability, but it is also the effect of the strong presence in the Italian market with a Group that covers the entire market of consumer electronics and telecommunications. The fact that we have 1500 researchers in Italy dedicated to radio-mobile network design and to the development of applications and solutions can only guarantee an adequate answer to H3G's specific needs."

The H3G UMTS network aims at guaranteeing a significant reduction on the environmental impact, not only due to the radio waves emission levels being five to 10 times inferior than in the case of 2G technology, but also through the new architecture "camouflage" techniques, possible thanks to the reduced dimensions of transmission supports.

Hi3G, the joint Swedish third generation mobile operator of Hutchison Whampoa and Investor, which owns a UMTS license in Sweden, has also announced the selection of its technological partner: Ericsson for the core network and for 50% of the base stations.

This announcement follows an analogous release by Hutchison Telecommunications Australia, defining an important step forward in the building of a European network, at the base of Hutchison Whampoa's strategies in the 3G mobile communication market.

H3G was set up with the purpose of becoming the first Multi-Media Mobile Operator on the Italian market. Upon obtaining a UMTS license in Italy under the name Andala in November 2000, with an offer of ITL. 6,300 billions, H3G is now aiming at taking on the leadership in the third-generation mobile business. Its shareholders include first-rate Italian and international players in telecommunications, Internet and the new media, publishing and banking. Hutchison Whampoa is the majority shareholder with 78.3% of the corporate capital, followed by CIR (12.9%), S. Paolo Imi (5%), BMI (2%), HDP (1%), Gemina (0.5%), and Tiscali (0.3%).

For further information:

Gian Marco Litrico
H3G External and Media Relations Director
tel. 02 52039310 - 348/5908786
e-mail: gianmarco.litrico@h3g.it

Igor Righetti
Press Manager for Ericsson Telecomunicazioni
tel. 06 72583592 - 335 7749290
e-mail: igor.righetti@tei.ericsson.se

Massimo Sabbioneda
Corporate Press Manager for Siemens in Italy
tel. 02 66764340 - 335 467751
e-mail: massimo.sabbioneda@siemens.it