Motorola, Inc. has announced the launch of a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) trial in conjunction with Omnitel, the largest wireless network operator in the Baltic States. The trial launched on 1 May, the day Lithuania joined the European Union.
The Acting President of the Republic of Lithuania, H.E. Arturas Paulauskas, made the first live public UMTS video call to the country's newly appointed European Union commissioner Mrs. Dalia Grybauskaite, who is based in Brussels on the launch day. The trial, which will make 3G services available to residents of the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, is scheduled to be completed by November 2004.
Lithuania needed to meet strict telecommunications criteria in order to gain entry to the EU and has exceeded the requirements with the UMTS trial. Improved economic conditions and increased competition between operators in the region have seen the mobile telecoms market in Lithuania steadily expand. Omnitel currently has over one million wireless subscribers and estimates an annual subscriber growth rate of 24 percent by 2004.
As part of this trial, Motorola will supply and deploy Omnitel's full UMTS Radio Access Network (UTRAN), including UMTS multi-standard base stations (Horizon 3G Base Stations), common GPRS/UMTS packet data core equipment and application server to support packet video streaming, Internet browsing, e-mail access and other applications over a UMTS network.
"We continue to see progress in the rollout of UMTS across Europe, and this trial with Omnitel is another step in our continued strategy to make 3G a reality," said Margaret Rice-Jones, corporate vice president of Motorola and general manager, Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector, EMEA. "Our experience and technical strength gives us an advantage in helping customers such as Omnitel to launch their UMTS networks quickly and efficiently."
"The first call on 1st May marks a historical occasion for Lithuania and we are proud to be part of it," said Antanas Zabulis, president and CEO of Omnitel. "We are pleased to team with Motorola to bring Lithuania closer to a new era of mobile services. Motorola's experience and track record make them the best choice to help us bring a variety of services which will open new horizons to our customers."