July 29, 2005 10:30 ET

LaqTel Signs US$50 Million Contract with Nortel to Build 3G Wireless Broadband Network in Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad--(CCNMatthews - Jul 29, 2005) -

New Operator Plans to Offer Advanced Mobile Data Services to Residential, Enterprise Customers and Visitors

LaqTel, a new operator in Trinidad and Tobago, has signed a contract with Nortel (NYSE:NT) (TSX:NT), valued at approximately US$50 million, to build a 3G wireless network for nationwide delivery of mobile broadband services.

LaqTel selected Nortel to build an advanced wireless infrastructure to provide its subscribers with 'anywhere, anytime' access to a variety of services including Web browsing, large file downloads and online gaming at speeds comparable to fixed broadband connections like DSL. LaqTel also plans to offer business customers secure mobile access to their corporate data networks from any wireless device, making it possible for them to remain productive when away from the office.

"Laqtel's vision is to offer the widest range of high quality mobile telecommunication services to all the people of Trinidad and Tobago, as well as to our international visitors," said Michael Barrow, chief executive officer of LaqTel, which was recently awarded an operating license by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.

"We will rely on Nortel's proven EV-DO solutions and unparalleled experience in deploying advanced networks of this kind to help us build a 3G mobile network that will establish our country as a telecom leader in the Caribbean region," Barrow said.

Nortel will deploy its complete CDMA2000 1xEV-DO 3G wireless solution for LaqTel, including CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, base station controllers, and core network technology. The deployment is expected to be complete by the end of 2005.

"We applaud LaqTel's visionary approach of jumping right into 3G to provide their customers with a greatly enhanced communications experience," said Kevin Taylor, vice president, Wireless Networks, Caribbean and Latin America, Nortel. "Nortel will work closely with LaqTel to ensure delivery of a robust network that meets all of their business requirements, and that can offer their customers in Trinidad and Tobago increased mobility and sophisticated services that can have a positive impact on their daily lives."

Nortel supplies EV-DO equipment to 12 of the 21 operators across the globe currently offering commercial EV-DO service, including Verizon Wireless in the United States, Vesper in Brazil, Smartcom in Chile, Pelephone in Israel and Telstra in Australia. Nortel also provided EV-DO equipment to Eurotel for the first commercial 450 MHz EV-DO service in Eastern Europe. With its CDMA equipment designed to support 1xEV-DO through modular upgrades to existing hardware, Nortel re-uses existing base station equipment to help operators reduce or eliminate the need for costly hardware replacements.

Nortel has worked with operators in the Caribbean and Latin America for more than 35 years, building advanced telecommunication networks. It is a leading provider of advanced wireless technologies in the region, with recent 3G deployments in the Dominican Republic (Verizon Dominicana), Peru (Telefonica Moviles), Puerto Rico (Centennial), Belize (Speednet) and Chile (Smartcom). Nortel has designed, installed and launched more than 300 wireless networks in over 70 countries.

About LaqTel

In March of 2002 LaqTel Limited was created with the objective of becoming Trinidad and Tobago's premier provider of integrated information and communications services, through advanced technological platforms. The Company, which is fully locally owned, recently emerged successful in its bid for the award of a mobile telecommunications license, through an internationally designed and operated auctioning process. The Company plans to become commercially operational by the end of 2005.

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and protect the world's most critical information. Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications, and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world's greatest challenges. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit Nortel on the Web at For the latest Nortel news, visit

Certain information included in this press release is forward-looking and is subject to important risks and uncertainties. The results or events predicted in these statements may differ materially from actual results or events.

Factors which could cause results or events to differ from current expectations include, among other things: the outcome of regulatory and criminal investigations and civil litigation actions related to Nortel's restatements and the impact any resulting legal judgments, settlements, penalties and expenses could have on Nortel's results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and any related potential dilution of Nortel's common shares; the findings of Nortel's independent review and implementation of recommended remedial measures; the outcome of the independent review with respect to revenues for specific identified transactions, which review will have a particular emphasis on the underlying conduct that led to the initial recognition of these revenues; the restatement or revisions of Nortel's previously announced or filed financial results and resulting negative publicity; the existence of material weaknesses in Nortel's internal control over financial reporting and the conclusion of Nortel's management and independent auditor that Nortel's internal control over financial reporting is ineffective, which could continue to impact Nortel's ability to report its results of operations and financial condition accurately and in a timely manner; the impact of Nortel's and NNL's failure to timely file their financial statements and related periodic reports, including Nortel's inability to access its shelf registration statement filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); ongoing SEC reviews, which may result in changes to Nortel's and NNL's public filings; the impact of management changes, including the termination for cause of Nortel's former CEO, CFO and Controller in April 2004; the sufficiency of Nortel's restructuring activities, including the work plan announced on August 19, 2004 as updated on September 30, 2004 and December 14, 2004, including the potential for higher actual costs to be incurred in connection with restructuring actions compared to the estimated costs of such actions;

cautious or reduced spending by Nortel's customers; increased consolidation among Nortel's customers and the loss of customers in certain markets; fluctuations in Nortel's operating results and general industry, economic and market conditions and growth rates; fluctuations in Nortel's cash flow, level of outstanding debt and current debt ratings; Nortel's monitoring of the capital markets for opportunities to improve its capital structure and financial flexibility; Nortel's ability to recruit and retain qualified employees; the use of cash collateral to support Nortel's normal course business activities; the dependence on Nortel's subsidiaries for funding; the impact of Nortel's defined benefit plans and deferred tax assets on results of operations and Nortel's cash flow; the adverse resolution of class actions, litigation in the ordinary course of business, intellectual property disputes and similar matters; Nortel's dependence on new product development and its ability to predict market demand for particular products; Nortel's ability to integrate the operations and technologies of acquired businesses in an effective manner; the impact of rapid technological and market change; the impact of price and product competition; barriers to international growth and global economic conditions, particularly in emerging markets and including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of rationalization and consolidation in the telecommunications industry; changes in regulation of the Internet; the impact of the credit risks of Nortel's customers and the impact of customer financing and commitments; stock market volatility generally and as a result of acceleration of the settlement date of Nortel's forward purchase contracts; negative developments associated with Nortel's supply contracts and contract manufacturing agreements, including as a result of using a sole supplier for a key component of certain optical networks solutions; the impact of Nortel's supply and outsourcing contracts that contain delivery and installation provisions, which, if not met, could result in the payment of substantial penalties or liquidated damages; and the future success of Nortel's strategic alliances.

For additional information with respect to certain of these and other factors, see the most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed by Nortel with the SEC. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Nortel disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Nortel, the Nortel logo and the Globemark are trademarks of Nortel Networks. CDMA2000 is a trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Contact Information