VimpelCom Expands Network with Ericsson's MINI-LINK Traffic Node

2/23/2004 - Russian mobile operator VimpelCom and Ericsson have commenced deployment of the MINI-LINK(TM) Traffic Node microwave transmission solution in Russia. The deployment is part of a multi-million dollar agreement that covers the roll-out of GSM/GPRS network infrastructure nationally.

MINI-LINK Traffic Node will enable VimpelCom to make its transmission hub sites more efficient, releasing resources that the operator will be able to use for further availability improvements elsewhere in the network. It also opens up new possibilities to deploy microwave rings further out in the network to increase resilience.

"As a growing business in a growing market that is poised to keep growing, our key priority is to expand while maintaining customer loyalty through high quality, innovative services and customer care," said Sergey Avdeev, Vice President of Network Development at VimpelCom. "This new microwave solution enables us to meet the traffic demands of new users and new mobile services at lower cost and with improved network control and availability."

"We are very proud that our long term commitment to VimpelCom has led to the introduction of our MINI-LINK Traffic Node and further strengthens our belief that we have a unique product," said Zoran Lukovic, Vice President, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Ericsson.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

About VimpelCom
VimpelCom is one of Russia's leading providers of wireless telecommunications services. The company operates under the 'Bee Line' brand, which is one of the most recognized brand names in Russia.

The operator has approximately one-third share of the Russian mobile market with more than ten million subscribers, and annual subscriber growth is currently running at 130 per cent. The VimpelCom Group's license portfolio covers approximately 92 per cent of Russia's 134 million population, including the City of Moscow, the Moscow region and the City of St Petersburg. VimpelCom was the first Russian company to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), in November 1996.

About MINI-LINK Traffic Node
MINI-LINK Traffic Node is an industry-unique smart microwave solution that boosts mobile transmission capacity and control in a variety of network applications, at lower cost. Fully compatible with the large installed base of MINI-LINK E radios - it is able to perform switching of traffic between different radio links, dramatically increasing the aggregated transport capacity, especially at hub sites. The solution eliminates the need for extensive manual cabling - for example, when aggregating capacity from several radio base stations within a microwave hub site - and enables end-to-end connection management. The effect is reduced capital and operational expenditure throughout the lifetime of the transport network. In particular, installation and maintenance costs are considerably reduced compared with traditional solutions, while rack space requirements are reduced by up to 70 per cent.

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