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BSNL Selects Nortel for GSM Expansion Deal to Meet India's Demand for Wireless Services

Reliability and Speed of Roll Out Key to Delivering Connectivity to New Wave of Subscribers

Nortel has won an agreement with India's BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.), valued at over US$100 million, to put mobile connectivity in the hands of millions of new subscribers in the southern area of the country.

BSNL, India's largest telecoms service provider, with over 20 million cellular subscribers, is actively growing its network reach and capacity to meet increased demand for mobile telephony services across the country. The company chose Nortel to support this southern GSM network expansion with an aggressive roll-out schedule, based on Nortel's previous track record in helping BSNL establish the widest reach of any wireless network provider in India. With this selection, BSNL can build on, and maximize its existing network investment and rapidly extend mobile services to new subscribers.

"Since 2004, Nortel has worked closely with BSNL in rolling out mobile service to some seven million customers in the southern and eastern parts of India while ensuring the network is cost-effective and implemented according to BSNL's aggressive timelines," said Hitesh Lokhandwala, managing director, Nortel India. "This new contract award reflects BSNL's confidence in Nortel to achieve these targets, and is further proof that in one of the most competitive, dynamic and fastest-growing markets in the world, Nortel's solutions meet our customers' requirements."

"India represents an enormous opportunity for Nortel in the carrier space, with its consistently high growth rates and increasingly mobile population," said Richard Lowe, president, Carrier Networks, Nortel. "We have redesigned our GSM portfolio with this kind of opportunity in mind, making our solution much more cost competitive, without compromising the performance, capacity and coverage for which Nortel is renowned. Nortel offers an immediate solution for today's high-growth markets, and a clear migration path to 4G as operators across India eye the evolution of their networks to offer higher-bandwidth services in the near future."

Nortel's deployment of the BSNL network expansion is already underway and is expected to be completed towards the end of 2008.

As India's increasingly mobile population reaps the benefits of enhanced connectivity, the country's needs for broadband wireless access to address the challenges of the hyperconnected world - where anything that can be connected to the network will be - are also developing rapidly. Nortel is actively involved in trials and deployments in India of various next generation technologies. Nortel is working with operators in India and around the world to simplify networking requirements that turn the challenges of Hyperconnectivity into opportunities.

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