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First EDGE order in Asia

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Siemens to supply EDGE mobile network technology to Telenor subsidiary DiGi in Malaysia

The Malaysian mobile operator DiGi Telecommunications, a subsidiary of the Norwegian telecoms company Telenor, has commissioned Siemens to equip its network with GSM, GPRS, and EDGE technology. This is the Telenor group's first order for the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) and the first commercial EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) project in Asia.

Siemens mobile is supplying DiGi with mobile radio base stations, switching technology, and hardware and software components. Siemens is also upgrading DiGi's GSM/GPRS infrastructure with EDGE technology. Based on the GMS standard, EDGE permits even faster data rates than GPRS so is another "intermediate step" for GSM technology toward UMTS. This will allow DiGi as one of Asia's first mobile operator to offer EDGE-based high speed data services on a commercial basis.

"We'll be able to offer our customers even higher-quality voice calls, more capacity and broader bandwidth which enables faster rates of data transfer than are currently available in Malaysia, thanks to Siemens technology," said Tore Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of DiGi Telecommunications.

"This order from DiGi is our first EDGE contract in Asia, so it will have a signal effect on the entire Asian market," said Christoph Caselitz, President of Networks within the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group. "Alongside the EDGE project in the USA, we can now also demonstrate the efficiency of our technology in Malaysia."

Malaysia is one of Asia's fastest growing mobile radio markets offering great potential: Around 40 percent of the approximately 24 million population use mobile telephony. DiGi currently has 1.8 million customers and an almost 20 percent share of the Malaysian market. The Norwegian telecoms company Telenor ASA has a 61 percent holding in DiGi. Telenor's mobile radio sector is represented in 13 countries and has over 12 million customers.