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Norsat Announces Agreement With Nortel Networks.

BURNABY, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 3, 1999--

NII Norsat International Inc. (TSE:NII) (Nasdaq:NSATF) today announced the signing of a strategic agreement to participate in a broadband satellite access program with Nortel Networks.

Under the agreement, Norsat is to develop and supply an outdoor unit (ODU) for integration into a Satellite Interactive Terminal (SIT) for the ASTRA-NET return channel system (ARCS) that Nortel Networks is supplying to Societe Europeenne des Satellites.

The agreement has an initial value estimated at $8.5 million during the first year of delivery, plus various options for increased volume over the first two years based on subscription rates. ASTRA-NET estimates the new system will attract 100,000 plus subscribers within 3-5 years.

Societe Europeenne des Satellites (SES), which provides programming to nearly half of all European homes with televisions, intends to deploy the world's first commercial Ka-band satellite return channel system later this year. With its new interactive broadband capabilities, ASTRA-NET will be able to offer businesses and consumers a wide range of multimedia satellite services, including high-speed Internet access and fully interactive networks for data transfer, telecommuting, training, and other applications.

"As a leader in high-performance satellite ground station components, and with demonstrated expertise in advanced Ka-band technology, Norsat has been a part of the team developing broadband access technology for ASTRA-NET's next-generation satellite system," said Robert H. Bucher, Norsat's CEO. "The opportunity to provide Nortel Networks with the first ODUs for ARCS is an objective we have been working toward for the past year."

Norsat will supply the ODU of the satellite interactive terminal, consisting of a high bandwidth transceiver, including satellite signal receiver and transmitter, as well as the dish antenna. The Norsat ODU will be compatible with ASTRA-NET's open standards and with the indoor units (IDUs) being developed by other suppliers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Norsat will develop system specifications; engineer prototypes for testing this summer; build trial units for the fall; manufacture initial commercial quantities for delivery in 2000; and provide ongoing assistance in the development of the ASTRA-NET Return Channel System (ARCS) open standards.

"This agreement with Nortel Networks enables us to apply our engineering capabilities in satellite ground stations to a major new market," continued Bucher. "Ka-band satellite technology, driven by demand for cost-effective, high bandwidth interactive communications, is an integral part of Norsat's growth strategy. We are looking forward to working with Nortel Networks on the ASTRA-NET project, and bringing the benefits of broadband communications to the satellite marketplace."

Norsat is a leader in ground station components for commercial satellite systems using the established C- and Ku-band technology, focused primarily on the high-performance end of the market. The Company established its technology leadership in the emerging Ka-band sector by developing advanced communication technology for the European and Canadian space agencies.

Nortel Networks is a global leader in telecommunications networking. As a prime contractor to SES for the ground network and the satellite interactive terminals, Nortel is leading a team comprised of Phillips Business Electronics B.V., EMS Technologies Inc., and Nortel-DASA GmbH & Co.

This document may contain certain forward-looking information and statements concerning the Company's operations, performance and financial condition, including, in particular, the likelihood of the Company's success in developing and expanding its business. These statements are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates that are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 3, 1999
Words:586
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