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Decision to Safeguard 1.9GHz for 3G Reaffirmed

GSM Association Applauds Anatel Reaffirmation of its Decision to Safeguard 1.9GHz for 3G

LONDON, The GSM Association -- representing the interests of more than 550 global mobile network operators from 194 countries -- today welcomed this week's announcement by the Brazilian regulator, Anatel, reaffirming its decision to maintain 1.9GHz frequency band for third generation use. The decision also underlines Anatel's commitment to regulatory integrity and stability.

Anatel, in a closely watched announcement in Brasilia on Wednesday, refused a request by Vesper, a company owned by CDMA vendor Qualcomm, to deploy a mobile network in 1.9GHz frequency - as this frequency had previously been appropriately set aside by the agency for third generation use.

Vesper had made this request for 1.9GHz frequency even though it had already acquired a licence with obligations to deploy in 1.8GHz pursuant to a competitive bid conducted by Anatel.

By underlining its earlier decision, Anatel has declared that it will preserve 3G spectrum and the regulations and contracts that have attracted R$7 billion in investment in the mobile telecommunications sector so far, with deployment of GSM and GPRS -- high speed wireless data networks -- taking place nationwide across Brazil.

"The credibility that Brazil's policy on mobile telecommunications has gained in the last three years has been solidified with Anatel's announcement," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSM Association. "This is a clear signal that Brazil is committed to its obligations and to creating a stable regulatory environment for domestic and foreign investors."

Conway visited Brazil two weeks ago, where he met with the Minister of Telecommunications, Miro Teixeira, in addition to other government officials, Anatel, and with Brazilian mobile industry leaders. Concerns had been expressed globally by operators, vendors and investors.

"As we stated all along, this has not been a debate about technology," said Conway. "It has been about fair competition and compliance with the regulations and contracts that guide Brazilian telecommunications.

"We would welcome Qualcomm-Vesper deploying the technology of its preference in 1.8GHz. By requesting 1900 frequency while already under an existing license obligation would give special treatment to Qualcomm-Vesper and undermine the previous license bidding process and the contracts awarded thereunder.

"In a turbulent global economy confidence is a critical factor in determining investment risk. This decision will encourage further investment and ensure Brazil's role as a player in the new age of third generation -- globally compatible -- wireless communications services," concluded Conway. About the GSM Association: The GSM Association (GSMA) is the world's leading wireless industry representative body. It consists of more than 690 second and third generation wireless network operators and key manufacturer and suppliers. The GSMA's members work collaboratively to accelerate the implementation of collectively identified, commercially prioritised operator requirements. The Association's members provide digital wireless services to more than 835 million customers in 194 countries of the world (end March 2003).

The GSM family of wireless communications platforms, including GSM, GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) and W-CDMA account for approximately 72 percent of the total digital wireless market today. The GSM Association is a unique organisation, with truly global reach, offering a full range of business and technical services to its members. For more information, visit the website at SOURCE The GSM Association

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