Hughes Network Systems Launches Wireless Local Loop In

Mumbai, India for Hughes Ispat, Ltd. / In-Service Cutover Puts World's First ATM-based Class 5 Switch Into Operation Germantown, Md. (ots-PRNewswire) - Hughes Network Systems (HNS) today announced that Hughes Ispat, Ltd. (HIL), India's largest private sector telecommunications operator, has just completed an in-service cutover of its wireless local loop (WLL) network from an NEC NEAX 61E switch to an NEC NEAX61 Sigma switch, the world's first ATM-based Class 5 switch for multimedia services. With this cutover, HIL now is operating its state-of- the-art WLL network in the regions of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune, all using NEC NEAX61 Sigma switches. Hughes Ispat is providing advanced telephony services to the state of Maharashtra as part of the Indian government's program to allow multiple telephone companies to compete side by side to meet the very large backlog demand for telephony services for businesses and residences. The wireless access component of the HIL network is provided by HNS' AIReach(TM) Local Loop system. The AIReach Local Loop system employs TDMA technology based on the IS-136 standard, the mobile standard used by many of the major wireless carriers throughout the world. AIReach Local Loop is optimized to provide basic telephone service using the TDMA access method. This optimization addresses the stringent requirements in basic telephony for high quality and high availability and reliability. The higher capacity of this network supports the longer call durations associated with fixed telephone service. The AIReach Local Loop system is designed to be a transparent alternative to traditional wire that is in short supply in many areas of India. HNS has added a number of features to the AIReach Local Loop product deployed in the HIL networks including their latest generation of digital subscriber units with IS-641 voice codecs (used for IS-136 networks), fax and modem data services, and options for high-capacity E-TDMA operation where needed. HIL Chief Technical Officer Vinod Jain said, "We are very pleased at the smooth launch of the service in October 1998 and now the in-service cutover. We are planning to grow rapidly and will add additional radio cells as needed to provide the high quality service now available from HIL. We already have 6,000 subscribers in service with a goal of 50,000 in 1999. Our long- term plans are for as many as 500,000 subscribers over the next few years." NEC vice president Satoru Inoue said, "The NEC NEAX61 Sigma represents the next generation in switching. We are pleased to introduce this service in India through Hughes Ispat. We are also very pleased to interface to the HNS AIReach wireless local loop system via a V5.2 interface. The V5.2 interface is the latest world standard for open interfaces to the switched network. NEC has pledged to meet that interface, allowing countries around the world the necessary access to bring the newest services to our switch." The in-service switch cutover in Navi Mumbai completes the first phase of HIL's network deployment. The AIReach Local Loop equipment has been supplied by HNS. The system has been designed and integrated by HNS India Private Limited, a subsidiary of HNS. According to T.C. Raghavan, chief technical advisor and manager of network implementation for HIL, "The cutover to the NEAX61 Sigma at the Navi Mumbai wireless exchange has been the most challenging task undertaken by NDSI and HNSI as there were more than 2,400 live customers on the network. The cutover was accomplished in a matter of two hours without any disruption of service. With this cutover, HIL now has a seamless network covering Mumbai and Pune -- the biggest market in India." "Our wireless local loop service is just the first step in wireless access," said Jain. "Later this year, we plan to add new services for the business community including HNS' newest fixed wireless access product, AIReach Broadband. This high capacity, point-to-multipoint service will allow HIL to provide the latest capabilities for high-speed data access to the business community." About Hughes Ispat Hughes Ispat, Ltd. is a joint venture of Hughes Network Systems, ALLTEL Corporation, and Ispat Industries Ltd., a member of the Ispat Group from India. HIL has been awarded a 15-year license by the Government of India to build and operate a telecommunications network in the Maharashtra Telecom Circle including Mumbai and the state of Goa. About Hughes Network Systems Hughes Network Systems is a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. Based in Germantown, Maryland, USA, HNS develops and markets digital communications products and services worldwide including digital radio systems, private satellite networks using VSATs, and consumer satellite products. HNS has been active in India Hughes Network Systems Launches Wireless Local Loop in Mumbai, India, since the early 1980s through its three subsidiaries, Hughes Escorts Communications, Ltd., Hughes Software Systems Private, Ltd. and Hughes Network Systems India Private, Ltd. The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to (NYSE: GMH) common stock. About ALLTEL ALLTEL Corporation, also based in the USA, is one of the largest independent service providers to fixed and mobile telephony customers and specializes in information technology services for the telecommunications and financial sectors in 47 countries. About Ispat Group The Ispat Group is among the top five steel producers in India and is one of the largest producers of flat steel in the country. Ispat Group also has interests in the power and mining industries. ots Original Text Service: Hughes Network Systems Internet: Contact: Judy Blake of Hughes Network Systems (USA) 301-601-4004, or

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