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OSKAR LAUNCHES A UNIQUE PROJECT “OskarGPRS > APPROVED BY PEOPLE”

12. October 2001

Group of 150 technological fans and experts, so called Technoids* , will experiment with Oskar’s GPRS phones for nearly 2 months. These Technoids will share their experiences with one another as well as with the general public on www.gprsforum.cz. To build truly practical and easy-to-use GPRS services Oskar will use ideas expressed by the Technoids.

  • Group of 150 technological fans and experts, so called Technoids* , will experiment with Oskar’s GPRS phones for nearly 2 months.
  • These Technoids will share their experiences with one another as well as with the general public on www.gprsforum.cz.
  • To build truly practical and easy-to-use GPRS services Oskar will use ideas expressed by the Technoids.

Starting on October 15, Oskar will launch a new marketing project called the “OskarGPRS> Approved by People.” The nature and extent of this project are in the Czech Republic clearly unique. The project will continue until early December and will involve top Czech technical experts in evaluating the GPRS (General Package Radio System) service, bringing an easy-to-operate user environment and simplified applications to customers.

A group of 150 volunteers, so-called “Technoids,“ who expressed interest and met thorough selection criteria, will get hands-on experience with Oskar’s GPRS. These Technoids will be using state-of-the-art Siemens S45 mobile phones, which they will have the opportunity to keep once the project is over. Oskar will cover all costs associated with the use of the GPRS services.

The Technoids will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences on a regular basis in an Internet forum set up by Oskar at www.gprsforum.cz, the content highlights of which will also be made available to the public. The Technoids will attend two workshops designed for sharing their observations and experiences. Oskar expects that the 150 Technoids will work together as a team, sharing their knowledge, and thus generating great ideas and suggestions to help build Oskar’s GPRS service in the future.

„Oskar realizes it is no longer enough to do research and ask customers what they need. We need to go beyond that and let people experience the technology. Oskar's GPRS launch program is an example of this strategy,“ said Sylvie Scott, Oskar’s Senior Director of Marketing and Sales.

Oskar was very careful in selecting suitable Technoids. In most cases, these Technoids are technical gurus or early adopters, who have a passion for the latest technologies. Some of the Technoids were selected on the strength of their previous active contributions to discussions on specialized servers. Others were attracted by advertising banners on the Internet, or they approached Oskar after hearing the buzz spread throughout the Czech high-tech community in the past few weeks. A total of 5653 people submitted their applications as of end of September.

During the project, Technoids will have the chance to obtain scoring points based on their involvement in the trial (this includes original essay writing, responding to questions asked by the public and adding interesting links or downloadable files). High-scoring premium points can be earned in return for ideas or new application concepts which could lead to future development of GPRS services. The highest-scoring Technoid will receive a notebook.

Simultaneously, the www.gprsforum.cz site will feature a competition open to the general public. Every business day throughout the testing period – a total of 35 days – Oskar will post a question of a technical nature. The person who answers the most questions correctly will receive a Compaq’s handheld iPaq and will be invited to attend the final workshop along with the Technoids.

In addition, the OskarGPRS > Approved by People project extends the potential of the Research and Development Center which was opened in cooperation with Ericsson and the Czech Technical University (ČVÚT) in Prague this February. The Centre was established to contribute to the development of multimedia telecommunication services and applications based on wireless technologies in the Czech Republic.

Český Mobil a.s. became the first dual-band mobile network operator in the Czech Republic after being granted a GSM 900/1800 dual-band license by the Czech government in October 1999 and launched the commercial operation of its leading-edge GSM network on March 1, 2000 under the brand name Oskar. At the end of second quarter 2001, Oskar had over 540,000 customers, a fact which ranks Oskar as the one of the leading third mobile operators in Eastern and Central Europe. In August 2001, Oskar was nominated for the Best Mobile Operator award at the World Communication Awards ceremony.

Through ClearWave N.V., Český Mobil a.s. is a member of telecommunications group of Canadian-based Telesystem International Wireless (TIW). TIW is a rapidly growing, global mobile communications operator with over 5 million subscribers worldwide. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange ("TIW") and NASDAQ ("TIWI").