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News release

Esat BT wins 3G contract in Republic of Ireland

8th October, 2003

Esat BT today announced that it has signed a deal worth over 100 million with 3 in the Republic of Ireland to build and operate its 3G radio access network.

Esat BT, with full support from BT Wholesale, will be responsible for building and operating all elements of the radio access network, which will include carrying out the radio planning, site acquisition and construction and setting up of the transmission network.

Stuart Horwood, Managing Director of BT Wholesale, said: "This is an excellent strategic win for BT in recognition of the BT Group's proven expertise in radio access network solutions and our growing facilities management business. It is also a good example of our commitment to deliver the very highest quality of service to our customers".

About 3

3 in the Republic of Ireland is owned by the Hutchison Whampoa Group which also holds 3G licences in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Hutchison Whampoa has branded its new 3G operations as '3'. Apart from telecommunications, the Group also has operations in ports, retail, hotels, property development, oil and gas.

Esat BT

Esat BT is a wholly owned subsidiary of BT plc. Esat BT is a fully integrated part of BT Global Services, BT's business services and solutions division, serving customers worldwide. Esat BT also operates in the residential and Internet portal markets. With over 900 employees, the company is headquartered in Dublin with offices in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.

Esat BT offers a full range of services to business customers, including broadband data, corporate Internet, web hosting, web development, e-business and systems integration.

Esat BT offers a full range of services to the residential market from home phone services, Internet access, international call cards and Internet Cafes. Internet access is provided through iol and

BT Wholesale: BT Wholesale is the part of BT Group, which provides comprehensive network services and solutions within the UK. Its customers number more than 500 communication companies, fixed and mobile network operators and service providers, including the two other principal BT businesses: BT Retail and BT Global Services.

It offers connectivity to every corner of the UK and its strategy is to continue upgrading its network for next generation services, including broadband, and the converging multi-media future. Its assets in the UK include BT's fibre and copper networks, the core telecommunications network and local exchanges. The BT Wholesale portfolio includes a comprehensive range of wholesale and service provider products. These include ADSL, convergence, transit, bulk delivery of private circuits, frame relay and ISDN connections, as well as added value services.

Enquiries about this news release should be made to David Orr or Francis King, BT Wholesale, on 020 7356 5372 or 0191 211 8607. Inquiries may also be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369.

All BT Group news releases can be accessed at our web site: