Isle of Man to deploy Europe's first third-generation - 3G - network

Douglas 13 December 2004The Isle of Man, located in the British Isles and internationally recognized for its pro-business environment, has announced that mmO2 will deploy Europe's first super fast, third generation (3G) mobile data network on the Isle of Man. The network will incorporate high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology and Internet Protocol Multimedia services (IMS) and positions the Isle of Man and mmO2 at the forefront of providing advanced mobile data services to customers within Europe. The 3G mobile data network will be available next summer through mmO2's subsidiary, Manx Telecom.

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"The fixed, mobile and Internet services and resilient off-Island connectivity provided by Manx Telecom has attracted international technology companies to locate on the Island", stated Tim Craine, director of the E-business division for the Isle of Man. "Manx Telecom has a proven track record as a pioneer of leading-edge technologies. Being at the forefront of developing telecommunications technology, they are able to provide our community with state-of-the-art services to ensure companies continue to thrive on the Isle of Man."

Consumers and businesses will be able to experience for the first time next-generation services on the move at speeds equivalent to those enjoyed by fixed broadband networks. They will be able to quickly and easily download DVD-quality film clips, audio and video, interactive multiplayer games, multimedia music tracks, push-to-watch services as well as access large e-mail attachments, three times faster than today's commercial 3G networks.

"We have market-leading experience in the deployment of mobile data services and 3G technology", stated Dave Williams, group chief technology officer of mmO2. "We established the first fully-operational 3G European network on the Isle of Man at the end of 2001, we are the first network to launch GPRS and have more SMS usage on our network than anyone else."

Based on advanced technology from Lucent Technologies, the futuristic network builds on mmO2's previous successful live trials of early 3G on the Isle of Man. It also complements existing work in this area mmO2 has conducted with its two principal networking partners, Nortel Networks and Nokia Corporation.

The Isle of Man offers state-of-the-art telecommunications and networking infrastructures throughout the Island. The country was Europe's first 3G mobile service testing centre and one of the first ten countries in the world to offer ADSL broadband services to its customers. Dedicated to the development and maintenance of its high-tech facilities, the Isle of Man contributes significant financial resources to offer the latest e-business solutions and technologies.

Located just a few miles from the United Kingdom and situated in the centre of the British Isles, the Isle of Man is an internally self-governing territory dependent of the Crown, however, separate from the United Kingdom. The Island is recognized worldwide for its pro-business climate and fully supports the growth of technology companies. The Isle of Man's colourful heritage, diverse scenic beauty and its quality of life, enhanced by many annual cultural events, hotel, conference and leisure facilities provide the basis of a long-established tourist and film industry. With excellent educational, health and social amenities, the Isle of Man provides a unique quality of life, which is appreciated and treasured by all its residents both old and new.

mmO2 plc has 100 percent ownership of mobile network operators in three countries: the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland, as well as a leading mobile Internet portal business. All of these businesses are branded as "O2". The company is a founding member of Starmap Mobile Alliance, has operations on the Isle of Man with Manx Telecom and owns mmO2 Airwave, an advanced, digital emergency communications service. In addition, mmO2 has established the Tesco Mobile and Tchibo Mobilfunk joint venture businesses in the United Kingdom and Germany respectively.

mmO2 was the first company in the world to launch and roll out a commercial GPRS or 2,5G network and has secured third generation mobile telephony (3G) licences in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany. mmO2 has more than 22 million customers and some 13.000 employees. It reported revenues for the year ended 31 March 2004 of GBP 5646 billion. Data represented nearly 22 percent of total service revenues in the quarter ending 30 September 2004.


Leslie Versweyveld

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