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Kiwi Knowledge Economy Gets A $40 Million Boost

Press Information
11 April 2000

KIWI KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY GETS A $40 MILLION BOOST

Members of Telecom Poland's board of directors flew into New Zealand today to sign a further $6 million deal for Internet technology designed by Ericsson in Napier. Poland is one of the larger markets ordering the device called HiS (Home Internet Solution). The latest multimillion-dollar HiS deal takes overseas sales to more than $40 million in just a year.

According to Ericsson’s General Manager Solutions and Services in New Zealand, Brian Phillips, Polish people have a thirst for the Internet.

"Their eagerness to be connected to the net is driving new business opportunities. HiS has taken off in Poland as it is such a practical, cost- effective and innovative solution for both Telecom Poland and its customers. With a population of over 40 million people, HiS has potential to be very big business," says Mr Phillips.

HiS gives PC users access to the Internet and their telephones simultaneously using just one line. This means the user is able to make and receive telephone calls while surfing the net.

Operators like Telecom Poland benefit as they can encourage their extensive customer base to get “online” by reusing their existing copper investment. The technology reaches 95% of the market instantly removing data congestion from their voice network.

Although not currently available in New Zealand, HiS can run on existing telephone lines, at around four times the speed of a typical modem. Because it is always "on" the user doesn't have to "dial-up" giving continuous high-speed Internet access.

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Shortly after its initial development in 1997, HiS won a New Zealand Electronic Product Excellence Award for innovation and export potential. The Napier team has now progressed onto the second phase of HiS design.

Last year in Poland, HiS won the "Most Desirable Product" award at a communications fair.

Brain Phillips says HiS export is a practical example of the knowledge economy bringing huge benefits to New Zealand.

“HiS has been developed in New Zealand using local expertise. The revenue earned on this innovation allows us to continue investing in further product and service development,” says Mr Phillips.

Ericsson’s Head Office in Sweden initially funded the development of HiS and may look to further its New Zealand technology development investment.

“We have proven we are more than capable of designing leading-edge technology here in New Zealand. We are excited by the future possibilities our success with HiS brings," says Mr Phillips.

HiS is currently being trialed in Malaysia with sales pending.

Ericsson is the leading provider in the new telecoms world, with communications solutions that combine telecom and datacom technologies with freedom of mobility for the user. With more than 100,000 employees in 140 countries, Ericsson simplifies communications for its customers – network operators, service providers, enterprises and consumers – the world over. Please visit Ericsson’s Press Room at: http://www.ericsson.co.nz.

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ends

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING ELECTRONIC PICTURES, PLEASE CONTACT:

Stephen Inglis
Marketing Manager
Ericsson Communications
Tel: 09 355 5523
Mobile: 021 948 064
email: steve.inglis@ericsson.co.nz

Penelope Barr
General Manager
Beyond Public Relations
Tel: 09 306 1801
Mob: 025 835 383
email: peneb@beyondpr.co.nz

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