Europolitan and Hi3G, two companies granted UMTS licences in Sweden, have agreed to jointly build part of their UMTS infrastructure. The agreement in principle will help ensure that the two companies achieve a fast, environmentally friendly and cost-effective roll out of Sweden's best UMTS-networks. Both parties are open to co-operation with others.
Europolitan AB and Hi3G Access AB have signed an in-principle agreement to form, subject to definitive documents and regulatory approvals, a common company designated to build and provide UMTS infrastructure, mainly outside the three major metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmoe. The parties intend to jointly build 70 per cent of the population coverage. The companies' independent UMTS infrastructure efforts will be concentrated to the metropolitan areas.
"By sharing the same infrastructure platform, we can meet the requirement set on us more cost-effectively and offer our customers fast and efficient access to this new technology. We will build Sweden's best quality UMTS networks, with very high quality and coverage. This deal is good for our customers, for us and for the future of UMTS in Sweden," said Jon Risfelt, CEO of Europolitan, and Hi3G's chairman Björn Svedberg in a joint statement.
Europolitan and Hi3G were two of the companies granted a UMTS license on 16 December. The agreement is fully in line with The Swedish National Post and Telecom Agency's guidelines on co-operation and will give future 3G users access to better and cheaper services.
Under the co-operation agreement, the two companies will only jointly build and maintain up to 70 per cent of the UMTS infrastructure required by them. Each company will have equal access rights to the infrastructure. The companies will retain their operating independence including designing and delivering customer services and content. The agreement provides Europolitan and Hi3G with a platform to invite other parties to take part in the building of UMTS infrastructure.
"We are open to co-operation and partnership with others. The company will be an important tool for building Sweden's best UMTS network and in that effort we are glad to co-operate with other companies with the same ambitions."
Europolitan will maintain its plan to, parallel to the roll out in the metropolitan areas, give priority to roll out of 3G coverage in Europolitan's six UMTS -municipalities Boden, Luleå, Piteå, Älvsbyn, Norrtälje and Karlskrona.
Representatives from Europolitan and Hi3G are available for comments during the day (se below).
Europolitan AB is a Swedish GSM operator with a license to build a 3G mobile network. The company's head office is in Karlskrona, Sweden. Europolitan is a leader in the field of technically advanced services. The Europolitan Group comprises the stock market listed parent company Europolitan Holdings AB, as well as the subsidiaries Europolitan AB, Europolitan Stores AB, Ocom AB, Doberman AB and Mobile Relations AB. The Group has around 1,300 employees.
Hi3G is a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (60%) and Investor AB (40%). Hi3G's ambition is to be Sweden's leading UMTS operator, with innovative services and a high quality network. Hi3G's services will be available in the Swedish market from 1 January 2002 the latest, and full population coverage will be reached by the end of 2003.
For further information:
Jon Risfelt, MD and CEO
Telephone: +46 708 33 10 01
Bo Johannisson, Strategic business development
Telephone: +46 708 33 18 04
Björn Svedberg, Chairman
Telephone: +46 8 545 01 777
Telephone: +46 70 624 20 46