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IndraNet Technologies launches European prototype

Media Release

14 February, 2001

IndraNet Technologies launches European prototype network

Christchurch-based network development company, IndraNet Technologies Ltd, is embarking on its first commercial venture - mini-IndraNet systems initially in Nice, France, and subsequently in other cities in Europe.

IndraNet has signed a preliminary letter of agreement with Sigma Technologies of Sophia Antipolis Science-Park, France, to develop and deploy the mini-IndraNet private networks to run the Virtuhalls Project in Nice. 1

These networks are intended to support the delivery of information services under the European Union TEN TELECOM (Trans-European Networks) EU Programme.

As part of its involvement in Virtuhalls, Sigma is committed to investing over Euro 1 million in new communication infrastructure in Nice to complement existing limited bandwidth infrastructure for the deployment of its Virtuhalls services.

After preliminary assessment Sigma has selected IndraNet's mini-IndraNet autonomous mesh network concept to deliver Virtuhalls services in Nice. Subsequently Sigma expects to expand the scheme to the other cities currently involved in the Virtuhalls Project, Hamburg, Vienna and The Hague.

As part of this project, IndraNet will grant Sigma a specialised licence for the operation of the Nice networks. This licence will also grant Sigma rights of first refusal to acquire further license extensions to develop alternative communication networks in Europe directly or through sub-licensees.

With the Virtuhalls project, IndraNet will be entering the commercialisation phase for its technology, said IndraNet managing director, Dr Louis Arnoux. "The Nice Virtuhalls Project is an ideal show case to demonstrate IndraNet. Participation in this European Union Project will also opens the door to fast market diffusion in the other cities involved in Virtuhalls, and throughout Europe," he said. Ends

For further information, please contact: Dr Louis Arnoux IndraNet Technologies Ltd Christchurch Ph 03 343 6172 Mob 021 429 249 lara@indranet.co.nz

IndraNet Technologies Ltd

IndraNet Technologies Ltd (ITL)is a Christchurch-based network development company whose vision is for sustainable development of low cost high bandwidth communication networks. The company's core technology is a broadband, wireless communications network that has been assessed by expert appraisers as a "viable alternative to existing telecommunications networks". An IndraNet network is made only of the communication terminals used by customers with calls relayed from terminal to terminal using advanced wireless communications. There are no cables or wiring, central exchanges or cellular towers with their inherent costs and limitations to the customer and the environment. For users this will mean high-speed Internet access, video-on-demand, advanced home security, and lower power bills, all for significantly less than the current cost of these services. The company has proved its technology and registered its intellectual property with the Patent Co-operation Treaty Examiners and is now entering the commercialisation phase. IndraNet's second application - a zero-emission transportation network - will be announced shortly. Other applications in energy, computing and ecology will follow. The current public float is seeking up to $5 million from New Zealand investors to fund further development.

The Virtuhalls Project

The aim of Virtuhalls is to provide an integrated set of online, multimedia, multilingual applications and services through local city portals called Virtuhalls.

Virtuhalls focuses on public - private partnerships. The turnover of Virtuhalls is projected to reach over 42 million Euros by year five after launch. The investment required by the Virtuhalls partners to achieve this result is expected to be of the order of Euro 24 million. Beside the European Commission (EC) and Sigma, the Virtuhalls Partners include: * Casema: one of the Netherlands leading radio and TV cable operators with 30 years experience and 1.1 million subscribers in The Hague, Utrecht and Breda region. * France Telecom: the world's fourth largest telecommunication carrier with 600 customer service points of presence in over 50 countries. * The Hague: the third largest city in the Netherlands, the seat of government and the fourth United Nations city with 442,000 inhabitants. The City of The Hague is involved in a number of ICT initiatives including Coordinator of the Equality Project (quality of life for the elderly), Coordinator of Infocities (ICT services to citizens), President of the Telecities Network, member of the European Digital Cities project, member of Eurocities. * Vestia Housing: owns 35,000 houses and 750 offices in the Hague area. Beside social care activities Vestia focuses on developing sustainable living conditions, increasing safety, developing services for the elderly and disabled clients, and providing information services. Vestia cooperates with other large national organisations in this field and also overseas (South Africa). * Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg: the Government of Hamburg includes substantial information services and initiatives involving 100,000 civil servants. The University of Bremen is closely involved with this work, in particular an interactive city information system. * Municipality of Nice: Nice is a city of about 350,000 inhabitants where 60% of the 198,000 households are presently connected to ISDN and CATV facilities. The CBD is also equipped with some ADSL Internet access technology (however limited to 1Mb/s on the downlink side). Over the last ten years the region has become a leader advanced Information Technologies in connection with the Sophia-Antipolis High Technology Park. Nice has pioneered advanced communications technologies since 1987 and, under the Eurocities Project, launched the Telecities network in 1994. Nice focuses on social, cultural and economic development through Telematics (i.e. ICT and other facets such as cybernetics and computer science). * City of Vienna: the Municipal Department 14 - Electronic Data processing, Information and Communication Technology includes 392 employees and provides all ICT services for the City of Vienna except health care (over 14,000 nodes). The City promoted the use of ICT for all facets of urban life and activities, and social and economic development. It has developed Das Digitale Rathaus, the Digital Townhall.

TEN-Telecom (Trans-European Telecommunications Networks) TEN-Telecom (trans-European Telecommunications Networks) is a European Union initiative supporting the deployment of e-society applications and services across the whole of Europe. TEN-Telecom adopts the users' point of view and hence the multi-network approach: the focus is not on a single bearer telecommunications network but on network of networks that seamlessly integrate fixed and mobile network components. Likewise, TEN-Telecom favours applications based on interoperable, standardised solutions. Down-stream of research results, TEN-Telecom helps consortia to bridge the gap between mature technical developments and global market operations, prepare pre-investment business plans, accelerate the market deployment of new services, and encourage investments in services of common interest that are not likely to obtain immediate funding through the market.

Sigma Technologies sarl

Sigma has 15 years experience in services design and implementation of a wide range of services in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Sigma's clients include small to medium enterprises, large corporates, research institutes, government agencies, local, regional and central governments, and the European Union. Sigma provides independent advice and services to its clients concerning the full range of services necessary to handle the rapid changes taking place in today's information society and to implement projects tailored to specific requirements.

1 Sophia-Antipolis is located close to Nice on the French Riviera and is one of the main IT centres in Europe. Some describe it as Europe's own "Silicon Valley".

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