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H3G Italy launched (translated from Italian)

  • Investments in infrastructure for 8K billion Lira (4 billion) by 2006.

  • 1800 jobs forecast and the implementation of 2,000 sites by the commercial launch (first semester of 2002).

  • Exclusive UMTS rights acquired for Juventus, Milan, Rome, Lazio, Genoa, Salernitana and Bari.

Starting today, Andala has a new name: the company the participation of Hutchison Whampoa, CIR, San Paolo IMI, Franco Bernab, HDP, Gemina and Tiscali that won one of the five Italian UMTS licences on October 24th 2000, becomes H3G.

Vincenzo Novari and Christian Salbaing, chief executive officers of H3G, whilst presenting the new name and logo of the company to the press, have illustrated in Milan the company's business plan.

In order to develop its presence in the third generation radio mobile business, H3G - which has acquired the UMTS licence with an offer of 6,300 billion Lira - has programmed an investment plan of 8,000 billion Lira (4 billion) in five years. This includes the creation of 20,000 new jobs (both direct and induced), 60% of which in central and southern Italy. By the commercial launch, scheduled for the first semester of 2002, H3G employees will reach 1,800. The investments in training will reach 150 million by 2005, to prove the starring role of the human resources in the H3G project.

The company, which will have its headquarters in Milan and its technical general management in Rome, will be divided into six regional centres for the implementation of the network (Milan, Rome, Genoa, Verona, Florence and Bari) and, during the first phase, on four contact centres (Milan, Rome, Genoa and Cagliari). Other technical offices will be in Bologna, Padua, Naples, Palermo and Turin.

During 2001-2002 H3G will invest more than 2,000 billion Lira (circa 1 billion) in network technology and information systems: that of H3G will, therefore, be the first "Full IP" large band wireless network in Italy, or rather the first entirely packet based radio mobile, accomplished according to the same technological standard that is the basis of the internet network. The billing system will also be the first in Italy thought to integrate packet-based and service-based tariffs, combining bit and time costs calculations.

The 2,000 sites, the carrying out of which is programmed by the commercial launch, will guarantee, from the very start, a very high quality service (384 kbps) in the main metropolitan areas. Within a year from the launching, coverage will reach 72% of the population, to then progressively grow to 97% in 2005.

In the meanwhile, H3G has officialised the acquisition of the exclusive UMTS rights of Juventus, Milan, Rome, Lazio, Bari, Salernitana and Genoa, creating the first nucleus of its service and content offer on the basis of the new value chains of the UMTS world: starting from the commercial launch of the service, H3G's UMTS clients will be able to see the goals scored during home games of their favourite team on their terminal's display in "near live", that is within 1 minute of the action. This will potentially reach 21 million football fans. At the end of the match, the highlights of the game will also be available with the most significant goals and actions.

H3G has also announced having entrusted Bates Italia agency with its advertising budget, amounting to about 150 million during 2001-2002.

"H3G presents itself as a totally new reality in Italy: it is made of business and people. It is also i amongst the most innovative on the European market. It will in fact be a 100% UMTS Multimedia Mobile Operator, completely focused on third generation multimedia services. In conclusion, the first example in Italy of a newly appearing species, the third generation mobile operator, and not the adjustment of an already existing one", stated Vincenzo Novari. "We are aiming to be the first in Italy to bring services and contents - video telephones, internet mobile, music and pictures - for third generation mobile terminals to the mass market."

"The presence of H3G in Italy represents a pillar of Hutchison Whampoa's international strategy in telecommunications, which focuses on the development of UMTS in four European key markets: in addition to Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria and Sweden," emphasised Christian Salbaing.