LONDON - January 29, 2000 - BlueKite.com, a leading mobile Internet
software provider, today announced that it has won a contract with TAL hf,
a major telecommunications operator in Iceland and subsidiary of Western
Wireless Corporation (Nasdaq:WWCA), to enable high-speed wireless Web
access. The deal makes it possible for mobile Web users to access the
Internet over TAL's mobile network at speeds equivalent to or better than
TAL is offering subscribers a new GPRS and GSM data service based on
BlueKite's Data Reduxion technology that enables wireless Web browsing
speeds to be increased by an average 5x when compared with services not
being enabled by BlueKite. Moreover, by reducing data transmitted by an
average 8x, bandwidth efficiency of high-value wireless spectrum is also
greatly improved. The enhanced service will provide customers with a rich
Web-browsing experience characterised by a performance equivalent to or
better than 56 kbps standard dial-up modem connections. By connecting
through a global network provider, users will also benefit from
international roaming to browse the wireless Web from anywhere in Europe.
TAL chose to build their new service using BlueKite's technology following
a rigorous evaluation process in which BlueKite significantly outperformed
alternative product offerings. Delivering BlueKite services, TAL is
targeting mobile professionals within Iceland's business sector. The
contract also encompasses Ireland and, later this year, Western Wireless
International plans to trial the BlueKite solution with its other European
subsidiaries on a combination of GSM and GPRS networks.
"We were extremely impressed with the tests we conducted using BlueKite's
software," said Oskar Hauksson, IT Director of TAL hf. "For Icelandic
users, a five-fold increase in Web access speed is only the beginning.
Users accessing indigenous Web sites with the help of the BlueKite-enabled
service have witnessed access speeds up to 18 times faster than would be
the case without the BlueKite technology. Whilst this level of performance
is helped by the optimal conditions we have in Iceland, it has been awe
"Icelandic business users face the same challenges as companies in other
markets and are responding in similar fashion by making their
business-critical IT systems Web-enabled," Hauksson continued. "BlueKite's
technology will immediately improve the quality and convenience of public
and private Web access, thereby improving the operational efficiency of
businesses increasingly dependent on the Web. In the longer term, we
believe that BlueKite has the potential to transform unrealised concepts
such as m-commerce into a practical reality, making mobile data an
everyday business tool."
Jan Wiejak, Managing Director of BlueKite Europe concluded: "TAL's
decision to join a growing list of influential operators worldwide in
partnering with us yet again demonstrates BlueKite's leadership in this
new and dynamic market. Iceland is a strategic, growth-oriented market
with nearly 75 percent of the adult population on-line. Users have come to
expect the content-rich experience of the full Internet, and BlueKite will
enable them to access these resources over their mobile devices." Wiejak
added, "With a well-established European organisation, BlueKite is fully
committed to support TAL for existing and future requirements."
This is the latest in a growing list of commercial agreements announced
for BlueKite's software platform. Most recently, Sprint PCS, the largest
all-digital, all-PCS nationwide wireless network in the US, announced that
it had selected BlueKite to provide optimised mobile Web access for its
Wireless Web offering. Prior to that, BlueKite had finalised agreements
with operators in the UK, Switzerland, Austria, and Portugal, where users
are already benefiting from the ability to access the wireless Web quickly
Established in 1997, BlueKite is a leading Internet software company
providing a platform that enables the efficient delivery of rich content
to mobile computing devices. Premiere service providers such as BT
Cellnet, Connect Austria, Sprint PCS, Swisscom and Telecel (owned by
Vodafone Group) have built mobile Internet services upon BlueKite's
technology. Headquartered in San Francisco, BlueKite.com has an
engineering and design center in southern California and European
operations in the UK, France, Denmark and the Netherlands.
For more information, please visit http://www.bluekite.com
Alternatively, please call +44 207 907 9790 in Europe
or +1 415 369 3700 in the US.
About TAL hf
TAL hf is a provider of GSM mobile telephony and internet access in
Iceland. TAL was awarded a national GSM license from the Government of
Iceland in July 1997, and it launched commercial service in May 1998. In
April 1999, TAL announced the acquisition of Islandia Internet, Iceland's
second largest Internet service provider. As of June 30, 2000, TAL had
over 45,000 GSM subscribers. TAL hf is a subsidiary of Western Wireless
International Corporation, a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation
(NASDAQ:WWCA), is a leading provider of wireless communications services
worldwide. Since 1996, WWI has built and launched wireless networks in
Georgia, Iceland, Croatia, Ghana, Haiti, and Côte d'Ivoire, and is
currently constructing nationwide cellular networks in Bolivia and
Ireland. In total, these systems are licensed to provide wireless services
to almost 63 million people.
WWI operates in countries where there is substantial unmet demand for
communications services and a high potential for rapid subscriber growth.
By introducing competition and providing customers with a high-quality
alternative, WWI has succeeded in expanding the size and service offerings
of the telecommunications sector in these countries.
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