The first commercial Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) project in Asia has resulted from the decision by the Malaysian mobile operator DiGi Telecommunications, a subsidiary of the Norwegian telecom company Telenor, to commission Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group to equip its network with GSM, GPRS and EDGE technology.

The contract is for the supply of mobile radio base stations, switching technology, and hardware and software components, and the upgrading of DiGi's GSM/GPRS infrastructure with EDGE technology. Commenting on being the continent's first company to offer EDGE-based high speed data services on a commercial basis, Tore Johnson, chief operating officer of DiGi Telecommunications, said, "We'll be able to offer our customers even higher quality voice calls, more capacity and broader bandwidth, which enables faster rates of data transfer than is currently available in Malaysia, thanks to Siemens technology."

From the supplier's perspective, Christoph Caselitz, president of Networks within the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group, commented, "This order from DiGi is our first EDGE contract in Asia, so it will have a signal effect on the entire Asian market."