Rural Cellular Supports Multiple Wireless Networks with HP OpenCall

4/26/2004 - HP announced that Rural Cellular Corporation will deploy in full production an advanced home location register (HLR) that supports - from a single platform - the world's major wireless network technologies as well as interoperability between them.

In the third quarter of 2004, Rural Cellular will deploy the HP OpenCall HLR to support two of those standards, ANSI/TDMA-CDMA1 and GSM/GPRS1. The HP OpenCall HLR maintains vendor and wireless network protocol neutrality between the two.

As the core solution in wireless network infrastructure, the HLR includes a database that contains all subscriber names and account service information. The HLR enables mobile operators to track customers as they roam from their home service area to other areas, and ensure that they receive the appropriate voice and data services.

Based on the reliable, scalable carrier-grade HP NonStop platform, the HP OpenCall HLR is particularly valuable in the Americas, where many carriers with ANSI-based networks are adding GSM/GPRS-based networks as a stepping stone to a unified global standard for next-generation "3G" mobile networks.

The HP OpenCall HLR is also attractive to mobile operators who already operate one of the two networks and support multiple switch manufacturers' infrastructures.

With multi-standard network support combined into a single HLR, operators can unify regional operations into one cohesive network that spans ANSI/CDMA/TDMA, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, and UMTS radio access. This key feature can deliver significant benefits, including reduced operational costs; faster return on investment; and greater flexibility to launch and provision new revenue-producing services to all customers, regardless of which network serves them.

"We needed to add GSM/GPRS service to our ANSI/TDMA service, and HP will help us simplify what might have been a more complex and difficult task," said Ann Newhall, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Rural Cellular Corporation. "This technology will give us a more flexible infrastructure that will better support our growth initiatives."

"For operators like Rural Cellular, HP's multi-standard HLR should deliver benefits on both the revenue side and the cost side," said Jean-Rene Bouvier, vice president and general manager, HP OpenCall Business Unit. "With the HP OpenCall HLR's flexibility, operators can deploy services more efficiently.

"At the same time, fewer HLRs with higher capacity translate to enhanced reliability, more manageability, more security, more investment protection and, ultimately, lower costs."

HP OpenCall technologies are key components in many solutions from the HP's network and service provider business unit.

HP pioneered the off-switch HLR market. Its ANSI-based HLRs are deployed in networks throughout the world, supporting more than 110 million wireless customers in 35 countries across five continents. The HP OpenCall HLR solution runs on the HP NonStop platform, which is a key off-switch building block in wireline and wireless network infrastructure.

About Rural Cellular Corporation
A leading rural service provider headquartered in Alexandria, Minn., Rural Cellular Corporation (Nasdaq: RCCC) was established in 1990 and conducted its initial public offering in February 1996. RCC has completed a series of acquisitions and now serves more than 750,000 wireless customers in 44 markets in the Midwest, Northeast, South and Northwest regions. From its array of services, including cellular, paging, long distance and PCS, RCC tailors its offering to address the needs of each of its rural markets in 14 states. Additional information about RCC is available at

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the last four fiscal quarters, HP revenue totaled $74.7 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at

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