News Release Details



Swift Nigeria Purchases Wi-LAN's W-OFDM Based Products for Urban Non-Line-of-Sight Network

Calgary, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria - March 5, 2003 - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE:WIN), a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, and Swift Networks Limited of Nigeria, (Swift) a multi-service telecommunications service provider in the licensed 3.5Ghz spectrum, today announced Wi-LAN's W-OFDM based LIBRA fixed wireless access products and accessories will be deployed in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous state and biggest telecommunications services market. Wi-LAN has agreed to provide and install its industry-leading non-line-of-sight (NLOS) LIBRA products and accessories for Swift's wireless network. Swift's initial purchase order is currently being filled and Swift expects to order $1.5 million (US$1 million) of LIBRA products by the end of 2003. Additional sales of Wi-LAN products are expected to follow as Swift moves into further phases of its network buildout.

"After extensive research, we chose Wi-LAN's LIBRA 3000 products because of their non-line-of-sight capability, ease of installation, robustness and reliability. LIBRA will allow us to open a new vista of opportunities for Nigerian businesses and Application Services Providers wishing to join the civilized world in ramping up their competitiveness through modern, secure, reliable and high-speed telecommunications services," said Richard Uche, Chairman, Swift Networks. "Our multiservice network as planned will become a one-stop shop for voice telephony, wide area video surveillance, high-speed Internet access and data transmission services over a secure high-speed link."

"Wi-LAN's many years of fixed wireless access experience will serve Swift well in designing and installing the network in the Lagos Business District, with its peculiar topography and humid tropical weather," said Charles Anudu, Swift's Project Director. "Lagos business customers will at last connect with confidence to Nigeria's most advanced digital network, certified free from radio and weather interferences that are prevalent in the unlicensed bands and satellite-based solutions."

LIBRA, based on Wi-LAN's patented W-OFDM (Wide-band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology, provides non-line-of-sight capability that has been proven in various commercial networks, increasing fixed wireless access subscriber coverage, from conventional levels of 50% or less, to levels that can exceed 90%. LIBRA's flexible architecture supports full or half duplex operation, is fully redundant and has tiered service management and user-friendly network management, all in an easy to install, weatherproof, single unit design. LIBRA products offer high spectral efficiency, which translates into maximum usage of valuable licensed spectrum and higher effective data transmission rates.

"We won this contract with Swift in a competitive bidding process when Swift realized that Wi-LAN's turnkey wireless network solution and very reliable, high-performance 3.5 GHz LIBRA product series would meet their wireless data and voice telecommunications requirements, even in very challenging urban non-line-of-sight environments. This contract gives us an opportunity to showcase the capabilities of LIBRA 3000 in Africa's potentially largest telecommunications market," said Nico Roelofsen, Vice President, Global Sales, Wi-LAN Inc. "As an added bonus, customers who install our LIBRA 3000 equipment will have the ability to make their networks compliant with IEEE Standard 802.16a and the emerging ETSI BRAN HiperMAN standard. We are hopeful that other owners of 3.5 GHz spectrum in Nigeria will realize the many advantages that only choosing Wi-LAN can provide."

Wi-LAN's Libra 3000 product series
The LIBRA product series is the third generation of Wi-LAN's highly reliable, field-proven, non-line-of-sight commercial W-OFDM products, which have been deployed in networks in almost 30 countries. LIBRA 3000 is offered in 3.5 MHz, 7 MHz and 14 MHz channel widths, in various frequencies covering the international 3.5 GHz licensed spectrum. LIBRA products have a seamless migration path to future products based on the recently finalized IEEE Standard 802.16a (North America) and the emerging ETSI BRAN HiperMAN (European and international) standard. Products that comply with these standards will enable network operators to maximize network performance and ensure interoperability with other standard compliant networks. Operators will also be able to multi-source their product purchases, reducing the risk associated with reliance on any single product supplier.

LIBRA 3000 is certified for use in the majority of telecommunications markets where 3.5 GHz licensed spectrum is available for commercial telecommunications applications, having received the CE Mark indicating the product conforms to the standards of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and certified for use by the State Regulatory Radio Commission (SRRC) of the Peoples' Republic of China. Certifications for other relevant jurisdictions are expected in due course.

LIBRA products include access points and customer premises equipment (CPE), and can be used in broadband access applications alone or in combination with wired alternatives. LIBRA supports both point-to-multipoint and point-to-point applications, and the LIBRA CPE can be configured with either an integrated antenna or an external antenna, making the system more flexible and scalable. LIBRA operates at an unprecedented throughput of up to 192 megabits per second per six-sector cell, and has a transmission range up to an estimated 40 kilometers in a line-of-sight point-to-point configuration, and 24 kilometers in a line-of-sight point-to-multipoint configuration. Improved security is built in through Wi-LAN's proprietary W-OFDM technology, user-configurable data scrambling and formatting, individual identification codes, VLAN tagging and IP filtering, making a LIBRA network one of the most robust solutions available in the market today. Installation and network setup is greatly simplified, with quick start menus and PDA support eliminating the need for a laptop computer to configure and install the system. LIBRA also offers tiered service management through CIR/MBR (Committed Information Rate / Maximum Burst Rate). The lightweight single unit design eliminates the need for expensive accessories and coaxial cable, is faster and less expensive to install, and can be mounted indoors or outdoors without the need for any climate control.

Using a cellular network design, Wi-LAN's solution can easily serve a growing customer base. Network cells can be expanded quickly and cost effectively. Through the scalability and flexibility of LIBRA products, network operators can start small and expand, allowing a quick return on investment and early profits with relatively low capital requirements. The current hardware is capable of supporting several generations of enhancement to the system software. Features such as dynamic modulation, dynamic power control, and additional network management features are being made available, as the market requires, via over-the-air software upgrades.

Wi-LAN Customer Support
As part of the Wi-LAN turnkey wireless network solution, the company provides engineering services to help customers and business partners plan and install wireless networks. From preliminary engineering service, such as system design and maintenance planning, to consulting and on-site service and training, Wi-LAN offers a full range of engineering services to help customers get the most from their wireless network equipment.

The W-OFDM Advantage
W-OFDM is a variation of OFDM that further improves its characteristics. The signal reception is corrected for distortions, allowing greater transmission speeds, and the signal is processed to maximize the range and multipath resistance. W-OFDM allows lower-power, multipoint radio frequency (RF) networks to be implemented, minimizing interference with adjacent networks.

W-OFDM effectively permits several independent channels to operate within the same frequency band, allowing multipoint networks and point-to-point backbone systems to be overlaid on one another. Less disruption of adjacent users and insensitivity to external noise means that high-speed multipoint data networks can be simply and rapidly deployed. These systems are tolerant of changes in the RF environment, limiting maintenance requirements, and the systems can be easily and economically expanded to meet the service provider's growing business.

About Swift Networks Limited of Nigeria SWIFT Networks Limited (formerly Izaga Networks) is licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to provide last mile broadband connectivity services to businesses and residential customers in Lagos, Nigeria's business capital and largest telecommunications market. Lagos is also Nigeria's most populous city (12 million inhabitants). With Wi-LAN's LIBRA 3000 system, Swift Networks will launch a multiservice broadband network offering digital voice telephony, real time wide area video surveillance, data and internet services over a high-speed, secure, robust and reliable network operating in the exclusive, managed and interference-free 3.5GHz spectrum. Swift has engaged the best-of-breed equipment vendors, world-class integrators and consultants to bring the discriminating Nigerian business customer at par with his developed world counterpart. Swift has also invested heavily in Cisco Systems' "Next Generation Networks" technology at the core, to build an end-to-end IP network and switching infrastructure that will ensure flexibility and scalability. Consequently, new features and capabilities can be added rapidly to the network as they become available. This is the opposite of networks built on narrowband voice-centric legacy infrastructure that give erratic performance, while limiting the provision of new services without expensive retooling and service disruption. With Wi-LAN's LIBRA 3000 system, Swift will acquire the capacity to deliver unconstrained bandwidth that will carry any blend of services precisely, to any location within Lagos State, with outstanding reliability and security, to meet the exerting demands of modern business.

About Wi-LAN Inc.
Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, specializing in solutions for secure wireless provision of high-speed data and telephone over distance for enterprises and telecom service providers. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access products are known worldwide for their high quality and industry-leading technology. Wi-LAN believes its W-OFDM patents are necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE standards 802.16a, 802.11a or 802.11g, the ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2 standard or the current draft of the ETSI BRAN HiperMAN proposed standard. Wi-LAN licenses its W-OFDM technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor companies. Wi-LAN is the Chair Company of the OFDM Forum ( Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at

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