Newbridge Wins Korea Wireless Broadband Contract

TOKYO (03/23/2000) - Newbridge Networks Inc. has been awarded a US$20 million contract from Korean telecommunications firm Hanaro Telecom Inc. to build a broadband wireless network, Newbridge said in a statement earlier this week.

Hanaro Telecom is planning to launch a broadband Internet service later this year using an LMDS (local multipoint distribution service) system. Such systems use wireless to link the so-called "last mile" between the carrier infrastructure and customer premises and enable the local telecommunications carrier to be bypassed.

Service trials will begin in Seoul in April and run through May with a commercial service beginning from June, according to Hanaro's roll-out plan, Newbridge said in a statement. The service will be offered to residential and office buildings, and SOHO (small-office, home-office) workers in four- or five-storey buildings in the South Korean capital.

The service will compete with ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) and cable Internet services that are currently being deployed throughout Korea although Hanaro will focus on areas where broadband Internet access via these technologies is not currently offered, according to the statement.

Hanaro Telecom is a joint venture of more than 500 companies including data communications carrier Dacom Inc., the LG Group, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., SK Telecom Co. Ltd. and Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd.

Newbridge Networks, in Kanata, Canada, can be found online at http://www.newbridge.com/. Hanaro Telecom, in Seoul, can be found online at http://www.hanaro.com/.

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