Axcera, a leading manufacturer and integrator of best-of-breed technology for the broadband wireless access industry, and Netcom Africa Limited, a leading IP infrastructure provider of satellite and wireless broadband solutions in Africa, have announced that Netcom's 3G mobile broadband wireless service offering, using the IPWireless-based Axity3G non-line-of-site (NLOS) broadband wireless access solution, will become commercially available in July 2005.

Initial coverage of the urban centers within Lagos, Nigeria's most populated state, beginning in mid-July, will be soon followed by roll-outs in other key markets, including Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja, the nation's capital. The system will cover a total population of over 15 million, making it one of the largest broadband wireless deployments of its kind in Africa.

The service offering, branded MyNetcom, will be available to the end user both directly through Netcom and through the company's exclusive network of resellers, with a limited number of modems being made available in mid July for those wishing to be among the first to subscribe to the service.

The timeliness of this initial deployment was made possible by the commitment and dedication of Netcom, Axcera and IPWireless to meet the aggressive deadlines set forth to bring the system on line. According to Brian J. Kim, manager of sales and marketing for Netcom, "We are very excited about our imminent release of MyNetcom 3G Mobile Broadband to the Nigerian market. Collaborating with world-class partners like Axcera and IPWireless has facilitated a seamless execution of Netcom's go-to-market strategy for this integral component of our best-in-class product suite."

Axcera's IPWireless-based "Axity3G" solution will allow Netcom to offer services never before available in Nigeria. Kim added, "MyNetcom operates according to the 3GPP UMTS UTRA TD-CDMA standard, offering non-line-of-sight service that allows mobile wireless broadband data access anywhere within the Netcom network. The plug and play MyNetcom modem will fit in your pocket and subscribers will have a choice of affordable, unlimited access monthly service plans. Simply put, MyNetcom will change the way Nigerians use the Internet."

Pursuant to its goal of bringing broadband access to the African population, upon completion of the nationwide Nigeria build-out Netcom plans to broaden its reach with expansion into various other African countries. According to David Neff, president and chief executive officer of Axcera, "The launch of this initial service offering is the first step in bringing affordable, reliable broadband wireless access to Nigeria. Axcera is excited to continue its relationship with Netcom to complete the nationwide Nigerian build-out on schedule and to continue implementing systems throughout Africa."

With Axity3G, coverage is achieved through an air interface, significantly minimizing deployment time and installation cost when compared to copper or fiber based systems, while at the same time offering true mobility. The plug-and-play capability of the pocket- sized modem allows simple user installation, minimizing or eliminating the need for costly and time consuming truck rolls. The mobile broadband solution is based on UMTS TDD, the part of the 3GPP family of standards that is optimized for high-speed data transmission.