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Octopus Communications

Apertio's software based mobile infrastructure reduces network cost & complexity


Bristol, UK, December 20th December 2004: Apertio Ltd today announces the completion of a landmark 'soft' infrastructure deployment with TA Orange. The project has seen the mobile carrier slash its core network operating costs by 40 percent and deploy capacity for an additional 1 million users in only six weeks. Alongside cost and Quality of Service (QoS) benefits, Orange estimates it can now reduce new service deployment time from 12 to 2 months in some cases.

This has only been made possible by the development of a unique software based infrastructure by Apertio. By replacing proprietary hardware network elements with a flexible and scalable 'soft' Home Location Register (HLR) solution, Apertio has eliminated the complexity of the core network, and increased the scalability, reliability and performance of today's mobile infrastructure.

"The deployment has allowed TA Orange to upgrade its core network to support the rapid and unpredictable growth in subscriber numbers, while maintaining the highest QoS levels"said Steve Hopcraft, chief operating officer for TA Orange. "Apertio offers the most advanced HLR on the market, and has provided TA Orange with a phenomenal reduction in the complexity and total cost of ownership."

Subscriber data is vital to the rapid expansion of the network and the migration of users to third generation type services. However, efforts to free this from conventional hardwired HLR solutions result in high cost and lengthy lead times.

Orange estimates that, using legacy hardware infrastructure, the delivery of capacity for each additional one million users can take as much as 4 months and the time to market of new services is typically between 12 and 18 months.

"Apertio has pioneered an open systems, software approach that dramatically reduces the total cost of ownership of core networks while providing a clear roadmap to IP based networks" said Paul Magelli, chief executive officer, Apertio. "This development parallels that of the IT industry some 15 years ago. Then, the move from proprietary mainframes to the distributed server model ensured a much richer environment for users, and a more efficient, flexible and scalable platform for IT managers. Today, the impact of the move from 'hard' to 'soft' infrastructure will be just as profound as we move towards 3G."

"While capacity was our major business objective, cost is a significant issue for network operators," added Orange's Hopcraft. "By utilising a 'soft' HLR, the total cost of ownership of the network has fallen enormously. I would estimate we have reduced capital investment per subscriber by 50 percent, and will be able to introduce new services within a two-month lifecycle. Working with legacy providers, this has historically taken over 12 months."

The software architecture marries performance with business continuity. Conventional HLRs have no in-built redundancies in the event of a major hardware fault or site problem. Because Apertio's soft HLR is built around a resilient distributed architecture, its clusters of databases are spread across multiple sites, making them inherently secure.

TA Orange is expecting rapid subscriber expansion during 2005 and retained Apertio for an additional deployment to build further capacity. This six-week project, ending in December 04, will see Apertio's HLR adding capacity for a further two million subscribers in the TA Orange network.

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About Apertio
Apertio is recognised by established and emerging operators worldwide as the leading provider of subscriber based, open mobile infrastructure solutions. It is the industry's first open mobile infrastructure company. Launched in 2002, its open subscriber software infrastructure is revolutionising the market for the upgrade of core network systems, management of subscriber growth, new service deployment, and the migration to IP based networks. www.apertio.co.uk

About TA Orange
TA Orange provides almost 2.5 million customers throughout Thailand with innovative, high-quality wirefree(tm) communications services on its nationwide 1800 MHz network under the Orange brand name. Orange, the world's first global wirefree(tm) brand with operations in 18 countries across Europe and beyond, aims to have a presence in markets covering 1.5 billion people worldwide by 2005.

TA Orange's vision is to create a pioneering, wirefree(tm) future where people can communicate wherever, whenever, and however they wish. The company delivers superior coverage, quality, value and service represented by the Orange brand and its values: straightforward, honest, dynamic, refreshing and friendly. Leveraging its relationships with True Corporation and CP Group, TA Orange offers unique, integrated products and services to the Thai market.

Products and services:
TA Orange offers quality communications services including Just Talk for pre-paid customers; Talk Plan with a range of calling plans from which to choose; Groupshare for small office and home office customers; a Corporate Solutions program for enterprise customers; and innovative services such as Thailand's first fully functional Thai SMS and real per-second billing.

For more information, please contact:

CHRIS GENT
OCTOPUS
T: +44 (0) 1753 672 755
M: +44 (0) 7801 518559

DOUBLE IPR AWARD WINNERS 2003-4


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