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Thales Inks $180M Deal for Malaysian Wireless Broadband Network

Thales will be providing equipment and services for a nationwide wireless broadband system in Malaysia under a $180 million contract from AtlasONE Sdn Bhd. In a press release issued Friday, Thales said it would "assume responsibilities for all facets of system integration, program management and broadband technology solution selection for AtlasONE's last-mile access architecture, and backbone transmission network." The system will use spectrum around 3.5 GHz for IP services to large business entities and high rise buildings and 2.5 GHz spectrum for individual and small business portable Internet connectivity and voice services.

The two companies have been testing a trial 2.5 GHz system with wireless desktop modems and PCMCIA cards in Kuala Lumpur since December 2002. Mohammad Badry bin Hanafi, Chairman of AtlasONE said, "Consumers are demanding better and faster Internet access, and through our wireless last-mile solution, we intend to offer them the connectivity that was previously unavailable. At AtlasONE, we are committed to supporting the government's efforts to move Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy whereby Malaysians from all walks of life will be able to access the benefits of the Internet for better living standards. And we are confident that through our collaboration with Thales, we can fulfill our promise for dependable high-speed 'always-on' Internet access."

Thales is known in the U.S. broadcast community for its TV transmitters and digital processing equipment.