Telenor has signed a contract securing Ericsson as its main supplier during the development process of Telenor's UMTS network in Norway.
Managing Director, Ingvild Myhre of Telenor Mobil says; -We are certain that our choice of supplier is the right one although it was not an altogether obvious decision. Alternative suppliers also presented substantially good offers. We decided upon Ericsson based on an overall evaluation of price, technology and the companys ability to deliver. Furthermore, Ericsson has an extremely high level of competence within this field in this Norway.
The contract between Telenor Mobil and Ericsson is a framework agreement with a potential value ranging in the billions. The deal defines Ericsson as the total supplier, meaning that the company will supply a complete UMTS network with base stations and central units within a specified time period next year. Demand for further supplies will depend on concrete advancement plans and the development in the market development. Telenor Mobil remains open to engaged additional suppliers, as was the case during the development of the GSM network.
Telenor Mobil and Ericsson will also be working together on the development of applications and service platforms designed to give the new network content. This part of the deal is not exclusive, leaving Telenor Mobil open to a variety of services and suppliers.
This early selection of the supplier should allow Telenor Mobil to be quick off the mark in introducing services in the market. The domestic network will serve as Telenors testing, ground paving the way for development of international interests in the future.
The development is scheduled to begin in the first two quarters of 2001, and the network is planned to be launched by November 2001. By then close to 170,000 Norwegians will have coverage in their local areas. Within five years all densely populated areas will have full coverage. The third generation network will interact closely with the GPRS network which opens early next year. Most of the services will be designed to work on both networks whilst utilising the characteristic qualities of the individual networks to their full potential.