News Release

Omnitel and Cisco Systems to Form a Technology Alliance

New IP-Based Communication Infrastructures Planned Omnitel
Feb 16, 1999

New IP-Based Communication Infrastructures Planned

MILAN, Italy -- February 16, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet and Omnitel, one of the fastest growing cellular operators in the world, have today announced an alliance that aims to develop innovative network technologies for integrated voice-data infrastructures.

The resulting technology will enable Omnitel to further optimize its operating costs and offer its customers new services, while Cisco will have a leading-edge partner to meet the challenges of the growing cellular market.

"This agreement lays the foundations for cooperation that will bring benefits to both companies, and to their customers," said Don Listwin, Executive Vice President of the Service Provider Line of Business, Cisco Systems. "Omnitel is the perfect example of how early adoption of emerging technologies is critical to maintaining and increasing a competitive advantage."

"This agreement sees the coming together of two industry-leading companies. The technology partnership that this agreement brings about will allow Cisco Systems and Omnitel to pool their respective expertise and as a result develop advanced network infrastructures, while helping Omnitel to expand its range of services," added Silvio Scaglia, CEO of Omnitel.

According to the agreement Omnitel and Cisco Systems will work towards the development of an IP protocol-based communications infrastructure and the definition of new techniques, based on open standards, that will make Internet access easier. This will specifically apply to access via mobile devices. The two companies have prepared a three-year plan to accomplish specific goals.

About Omnitel

Omnitel, which after three years of commercial service has more than 6 million customers, last year launched a service that allows its customers to call the United States and the United Kingdom using the Internet. In 36 months activity, Omnitel has provided over 20 innovations that pushed the Italian market to be the first in Europe for cellular communication in terms of size and technology. Omnitel closed its third quarter with revenues of almost 3.000 billion lira and 250 billion of net profit. It employs approximately 6,000 people and its network coverage reached 96 percent of the landmass.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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