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Nokia to Expand China's Fujian Network

Nokia Friday inked a $300 million agreement with Fujian Mobile Telecommunications Bureau to expand its dual band GSM network in China, extending its capacity to 4 million subscribers.

Nokia will deliver mobile switching centers, home location registers, base station controllers, base stations and short message service (SMS) centers. Customer services, network planning, training and software maintenance will also be included in the deal.

The SMS service will allow subscribers to send and receive short messages using Chinese characters and also enables users to get information from mobile phones.

Arnold added the two companies my partner in further customer services development through joint venture Fujian Nokia Mobile Communication Technology Co., Ltd.

"This agreement brings increased network capacity and quality to Fujian's subscribers, and paves the way for further value added services," said Malcolm Arnold, Nokia China's vice president of system business.

Equipment will be supplied by two Nokia joint ventures in China.

The expansion will be launched commercially next year.

The deal was announced days after the release of the Chinese government's semi-annual Internet survey from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

The survey found that the Chinese Internet population has doubled in six months, from 2.1 million in December 1998 to 4 million in June.



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