SOURCE: Thomson

November 24, 2005 07:46 ET

Thomson's Voice over IP Solutions Gain Significant Traction in Central Europe

Boulogne -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 24, 2005 -- Thomson's Next Generation Network Business Wins Contracts With Six Central European Telcos for its Cirpack VoIP SoftSwitches

November 24, 2005 - Paris, Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE; TMS), partner to the media & entertainment industries, today announced that it has won contracts for its Cirpack voice over IP softswitches with six Central European telecommunications service providers. These include Nextra, Broadnet and CRa in the Czech Republic; Nextra and Amtel in Slovakia; AMIS in Slovenia and Croatia and GTS in Romania. The contract wins provide further evidence that Thomson is successfully penetrating new geographical markets with IP devices and solutions that support the deployment of innovative services and applications by its media and entertainment customers, as outlined in its strategic Two-Year Plan.

Growing Telecoms Market in Central and Eastern Europe

On the back of major economic growth and membership of an enlarged European Union, many Central and Eastern European countries are currently undergoing a period of intense telecom infrastructure modernisation. The Cirpack range of voice over IP softswitches offers a compelling solution to the challenges faced by operators in the region as it provides a platform which can deliver both legacy telecoms services and newer voice over IP services as providers build out the broadband networks to support them. In addition the low costs involved in deploying and operating Cirpack switches makes them attractive to service providers looking to rapidly deploy new services and acquire new customers.

Central European Operators Investing in Thomson Technology

Nextra's Czech and Slovakian operations, both subsidiaries of Telenor Central Europe, are the latest in a line of impressive customer wins in Central Europe. Thomson's Cirpack softswitches were selected for deployment across Nextra's network operations in support of the deployment of voice over IP services to both business and residential customers. Nextra will also use the IP Centrex features offered by the Cirpack softswitches to provide managed voice services to business customers. IP Centrex enables the operator to provide business phone services that would previously have required that the customer invest in and install a PBX (Private Branch eXchange) device on their premises.

Cirpack softswitches have also been deployed by AMIS in Slovenia and Croatia. AMIS offers broadband DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and pre-standard WiMAX services to customers and has deployed a true triple play service over its network. Cirpack switches are used to support all voice over IP traffic and terminate this traffic to the legacy telephone network. AMIS has been offering triple-play services in Slovenia for some time and has recently deployed further Cirpack switches to launch similar services in Croatia.

Broadnet of the Czech Republic is using Cirpack softswitches to deliver IP Centrex services to business customers over a fixed broadband wireless access network. Broadnet, a Comcast subsidiary, is also using the Cirpack softswitch to offer ISDN services connecting legacy PBXs, and ensuring seamless voice services between all these technologies and the public telephone network.

"The Cirpack acquisition has proved hugely successful for Thomson, not only enabling us to provide a complete end-to-end VoIP or triple play offering in conjunction with our range of residential broadband gateways but also giving the company a foothold in the maturing Central and Eastern European market. These impressive contract wins are testament to Thomson's expertise in the triple-play service delivery market, the performance of the Cirpack product range and our ability to help telecom service providers enter new markets and launch innovative services," said Bruno Fabre, Vice President, Telecoms at Thomson.

Glossary of technical terms used in this release

DSL, short for Digital Subscriber Line, is a family of technologies that provide a digital connection over the copper wires of the local telephone network thus creating access paths for different types of high-speed communications.

IP Centrex is a service provider-hosted IP telephony service that typically offers a basic set of voice features for end customers, primarily for small and medium-sized enterprises, that are looking for an outsourced, hosted communications solution. The IP telephony call control and feature applications are owned, hosted, and managed by the service provider in its own network, and that capacity is shared across multiple customers.

PBX, short for Private Branch eXchange, is that part of enterprise voice networks, which supports local in-company dialing, local calls outside the premises, and long distance calls.

ISDN, short for Integrated Services Digital Network, refers to an international communications standard for sending voice, video, and data over digital telephone lines or normal telephone wires. ISDN supports data transfer rates of 64 Kbps (64,000 bits per second).

Softswitch refers to the software platform responsible for controlling call processes in the network, as well as managing remotely access devices and service applications.

WiMAX, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is the name commonly given to the IEEE 802.16 standard which governs fixed broadband wireless metropolitan access networks (MANs) that use a point-to-multipoint architecture. It is similar to WiFi in concept, but has certain improvements that are aimed at improving performance and should permit usage over much greater distances.

***

Some of the statements contained in this press release, including statements by the management in relation to future expectations, represent "forward-looking statements" in the sense of the "Safe Harbor Statement" by the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These types of forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions on the part of the management and are subject to a range of factors and uncertainties which may lead to a considerable deviation of the results actually achieved from the expectations outlined either explicitly or implicitly in the forward-looking statements. This may be due to changes in global economic conditions, industry developments, a shift in the competitive situation or the passing of new legislation. More detailed information on the factors which may influence Thomson's financial results can be found in the documentation submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Thomson

Partner to the Media & Entertainment Industries, Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS) provides technology, systems and services to help its media and entertainment clients - content creators, content distributors and users of its technology - realise their business goals and optimise their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment. The group intends to become the preferred partner to the media and entertainment Industries through its Technicolor, Grass Valley, RCA and Thomson brands. For more information see www.thomson.net.

Thomson's Access Platforms and Gateways (AP&G) activity, part of the company's systems and equipment division, is a leading supplier of digital entertainment receivers to the world's major satellite and terrestrial broadcasters, cable operators and telecom service providers. It offers a full range of digital set-top boxes, phones, broadband modems and gateways with modular VoIP, IPTV and wireless (DECT, WiFi, Bluetooth) capabilities. It is also one of the leading suppliers of IP system integration services and softswitch solutions to migrate telecom infrastructures to NGN (Next Generation Networks) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). Products are marketed under the RCA, THOMSON, SpeedTouch and CIRPACK brands. You can find more information on AP&G's products at www.thomson-broadband.com

+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Press Relations          |                   |                    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Martine Esquirou         |  +33 1 41 86 58 51|martine.esquirou@tho|
|                         |                   |mson.net            |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Julie Dardelet           |  +33 1 41 86 65 24|julie.dardelet@thoms|
|                         |                   |on.net              |
|Marie-Vincente Pasdeloup |  +33 1 41 86 61 13|Marie-vincente.pasde|
|                         |                   |loup@thomson.net
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Access Platforms &       |                   |                    |
|Gateways                 |                   |                    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Brenda Clery             |  +33 6 83 30 57 57|brenda.clery@thomson|
|                         |                   |.net                |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Guillaume Trichard       |  +33 1 41 86 65 71|guillaume.trichard@t|
|                         |                   |homson.net          |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Investor Relations       |                   |                    |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Séverine Camp            |  +33 1 41 86 57 23|severine.camp@thomso|
|                         |                   |n.net               |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Marie Boidot             |  +33 1 41 86 51 00|marie.boidot@thomson|
|                         |                   |.net                |
+-------------------------+-------------------+--------------------+
|Laurent Sfaxi            |  +33 1 41 86 58 83|laurent.sfaxi@thomso|
|                         |                   |n.net               |
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