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Ericsson Eases Maxis Communications Into 3G

Ericsson said today that it has won a third-generation network services contract from Malaysia's largest mobile carrier.

The Swedish telecom equipment maker will operate Maxis Communications' 3G network for 18 months before turning over operations.

During the transition period, Ericsson will train Maxis employees run the network and develop performance benchmarks and service level agreements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The [contract] reinforces Ericsson's position as the industry leader in managed services," Kristian Tear, president of Ericsson Southeast Asia, said in a statement.

Allowing Ericsson to run the network before handing off will allow Maxis to address and pre-empt the issues that typically have been associated with 3G launches elsewhere, Tear added.

Two years ago, Maxis hired Ericsson to design, deploy and integrate the 3G network based on wide-band code division multiple -access technology.

On the services side, Maxis uses Ericsson's mobile music platform and hosting service to run its mobile music offering.

3G, which delivers voice, data and video to handsets at speeds roughly equivalent to a home DSL or cable connection, is more common in Asia than the United States.

But U.S. carriers have finally invested the billions of dollars needed to upgrade networks to increase capacity and speed and Verizon and Cingular are rapidly rolling out services.