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Cingular Cuts 3 Infrastructure Deals

Cingular Wireless, aggressively signaling its intentions to roll out a 3G wireless network, signed three separate deals with infrastructure providers Monday.

The deals appear to be wins for the equipment providers. Nokia got a big nod, with a contract estimated to be valued in excess of $1 billion. It will supply a large portion of the infrastructure for Cingular's deployment of a nationwide GSM/EDGE network operating in the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands.

The deal is Nokia's largest single system level deal ever.

Nokia will begin delivering and helping Cingular roll out the new equipment -- including UltraSite triple-mode (GSM/EDGE/WCDMA) base stations, the Nokia DX 200 circuit switched core and GPRS packet-core network solutions -- in 2002.

The company will also supply its NetAct network management system and the Network Deployment Package for the network build-out. That package includes planning services. Additionally, the company will provide the Nokia KeyCare package and additional O&M site assistance for the core and radio network.

Siemens Information and Communication Mobile LLC cut a $500 million, three year contract. Siemens will supply what it called "significant volumes" of GSM/GPRS/EDGE network infrastructure operating in the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, and said it also anticipates supplying GSM/TDMA dual-band mobile phones operating in those bands.

Sweden's Ericsson is the final piece of the puzzle. Although the company did not disclose the estimated value of its deal, it did say that it will provide the largest portion of the core network infrastructure and will provide radio network equipment for overlay markets.