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Český Mobil selected as GSM 1800 operator

29. September 1999

"Český Mobil's is extremely pleased and honoured to have been selected by the Czech Government as the winner of the GSM 1800 licence" said Mario Bertrand, President New Ventures of TIW. "Our commitment, since the beginning of the process, has been to make mobility not only affordable, but accessible to everyone. We intend to deliver on that promise very rapidly," added Mario Bertrand. For example, Česky Mobil's lowest consumer package in its proposal reduces to a minimum the cost of mobility. Offered as a pre-paid service, the package will provide 40 minutes of usage (35 minutes off-peak, 5 minutes peak) for 10 CZK per month with no activation fee and no SIM card charges.

"Český Mobil's is extremely pleased and honoured to have been selected by the Czech Government as the winner of the GSM 1800 licence" said Mario Bertrand, President New Ventures of TIW. "Our commitment, since the beginning of the process, has been to make mobility not only affordable, but accessible to everyone. We intend to deliver on that promise very rapidly," added Mario Bertrand.

For example, Česky Mobil's lowest consumer package in its proposal reduces to a minimum the cost of mobility. Offered as a pre-paid service, the package will provide 40 minutes of usage (35 minutes off-peak, 5 minutes peak) for 10 CZK per month with no activation fee and no SIM card charges. "Český Mobil will bring increased competition to the mobile market in the Czech Republic and consumers will be the true winners. Not only will mobile services be more affordable, they will also be leading-edge, enabling a wide range of services, including e-banking, e-commerce. IPB will provide Český Mobil with all bank services, and together with important international banks will take part in arrangement of financing the Cesky mobil network building and operating. We can say, that the interest among national and international financial institutions to take part in financing this project is rather strong," says Barbora Tachecí, PR Manager of IPB.

Český Mobil intends to rapidly deploy its network and, by the end of 2000, expects to have a coverage equivalent to the coverage of the two existing operators. Český Mobil will spend up to US$850 million and the successful completion of this tender should attract additional foreign investments in the country. An independent study estimates that Cesky mobil's business plan will directly and indirectly create about 2,750 additional jobs per year on average. Cesky mobil intends to create employment in different regions of the country. Already through its recruitment advertising campaign, Cesky mobil has received over 1,200 resumes form Czech people interested in changing the way mobile communications services are offered in the country.

In addition to its commitments related to its service offering and network deployment, Český Mobil has also pledged to lead a number of related initiatives aimed at creating and facilitating employment and education in the knowledge industries in the Czech Republic.

Český Mobil plans on financing the entire cost of building the technological infrastructure required to provide Internet Access to more than 13,000 schools and libraries in the country. With its partners, Český Mobil will create a research and development centre to develop new products and services in the field of wireless multimedia. One of the key objectives of the Centre will be to monitor technology developments that will move GSM and the Czech Republic towards Universal Mobile Telephone Service (UMTS). In addition, Český Mobil will take the lead in developing a network of Centres of Excellence at Czech universities, as well as the Český Mobil University Chair. Ceský Mobil is the bidding consortium of IPB, Telesystem International Wireless (TIW) and Priority Telecom.

Priority Telecom is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), one of the leading cable operators in the Czech Republic. Headquartered in Amsterdam, UPC is the most innovative broadband communications company in Europe and owns and operates one of the largest pan-European groups of broadband communication networks. UPC provides cable television, telephony, high-speed Internet access and programming services in 12 countries across Europe and in Israel. As of June 30th 1999, UPC's systems passed approximately 8.6 million homes with 5.6 million basic cable subscribers. UPC is a consolidated subsidiary of Denver based UnitedGlobalCom Inc. ("United"), (NASDAQ: "UCOMA"). Microsoft has an interest of approximately 7.8% in UPC.

IPB is the largest private bank in the Czech Republic and at the same time the third largest bank operating in Czech Republic measured by volumes of loans, deposits and total assets. IPB´s equity amounts to 13.4 billions CZK, it serves more than 2.6 millions clients and operates over 3 millions accounts. IPB is the fastest growing financial institution in the country.

TIW is a global wireless operator. It develops, acquires, owns and operates wireless telecommunications networks in developing and developed markets throughout the world. TIW provides digital cellular services in Romania, Brazil, India and China. The Company also provides specialised mobile radio (SMR) and Enhanced SMR (ESMR) in the United Kingdom and SMR services in France, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal as well as paging services in Mexico and the Netherlands.

TIW is a member of the Canadian-based private communications group Telesystem Ltd., which manages companies which together employ 18 000 people in 30 countries. The leading telecommunications company within the Telesystem group is Teleglobe, which has revenues of over US$ 3,5 billion. The group's strong position in wireless communications is secured internationally through TIW and in Canada through Microcell Telecommunications, operator of the third national wireless licence awarded by the Canadian government. Telesystem also created and manages Telsoft, Canada's largest venture capital fund dedicated to the software industry and manages Motion International, the second largest independent producer in Canada.