DENVER, Colo., March 5, 2001 (BUSINESS WIRE) — GE Smallworld, a supplier of strategic network solutions to the communications industry, today announced that their Physical Network Inventory Software has been selected by Kabel Nordrhein-Westphalia (Kabel NRW) to help the company modernize their extensive cable TV (CATV) network.

Kabel NRW plans to upgrade the voice, video and high-speed data network to an integrated two-way facility that will enable the transport of large volumes of data quickly and reliably. Recognizing the need to deliver services to marketplace as quickly as possible, Kabel NRW plans to complete the upgrade of the entire network within three years.

To achieve this plan, a proven and reliable network design, planning and building support software solution was required and the GE Smallworld Physical Network Inventory software was chosen as the software to implement these tasks. This enhanced capability will provide Kabel NRW customers with a wide range of new, interactive communications services such as high speed Internet access.

The company plans to invest more than $4 billion over the next few years. “Customer demand in such an aggressive marketplace means that we have to complete the network upgrade within our set time table if we are to become a leading provider of innovative services,” said Bill Flemming, Kabel NRW National Upgrade Director. In such a large and densely populated area, this is no easy task. GE Smallworld proved that it can provide the software tools to enable us to meet these aggressive deadlines.”

For this project, Kabel NRW set up the Bonn Technology Center to run its network activities and enrolled partner, ECHO Broadband (Singapore) PTE Ltd, to carry out the design, planning and network optimization. Running on a Compaq Cluster server, more than fifty seats of GE Smallworld Physical Network Inventory are being used by over one hundred people, who are focused on network redesign within the design centers.

The Bonn center is supported by the ECHO design center in Malaysia, which is connected by a virtual private network. This allows design production 24 hours per day. The IT infrastructure was put in place in a record time of less than three months by a team of specialists from ECHO, Compaq and GE Smallworld.

The Bonn center is the latest addition to a network of international design centers located in Malaysia and Spain where GE Smallworld products have been established for several years as a design and planning tool. “A great part of the Kabel NRW success in mobilization and rapid deployment stems from its decision to use proven technology,” said Dave Loehden, director, technical production at ECHO. “Based on our successful track record of delivery in Asia and Europe, the ECHO team is proud to once again be aligned with GE Smallworld.”

Richard Green, who leads the communications business for GE Smallworld, commented, “It is exciting for us to be working with one of Europe’s newest and fastest CATV companies. GE Smallworld Physical Network Inventory software was designed to meet the specific needs of the communications operator – which means we recognize the need for a highly flexible solution that enables rapid implementation of the network design and build. In addition, this same technology in which Kabel NRW is investing is applicable for cable companies around the world.”

About Kabel
NRW Kabel NRW is a subsidiary of Callahan Associates and Kabel Deutschland GmbH, following the sale of the company by Deutsche Telekom in February 2000. Located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, the company develops and operates Germany’s largest broadband network and provides service to over 6.3 million households.

About GE Smallworld
GE Smallworld creates, markets and delivers network software products to the Communications and Utility & Public Systems markets globally. GE Smallworld’s products model real world assets and services, enabling companies to understand where their facilities and customers are located and how they are connected, then seamlessly integrating this information across the enterprise.

The company also provides services for rapid implementation and integration of GE Smallworld’s object-oriented technology and vertical industry solutions, which can increase customers’ revenues, improve customer service, and better utilize assets.

GE Smallworld (www.gepower.com) has more than 870 customers in 44 countries around the world. GE Smallworld was acquired by GE in October, 2000 and is part of the GE Power Systems business. GE Smallworld is based at Elizabeth House, 1 High Street, Chesterton, Cambridge CB4 1WR, England; Telephone, +44 (0) 1223.301144, and in the United States at 5600 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Englewood, CO 80111, +1.303.779.6980.

About GE Power Systems
GE Power Systems (www.gepower.com) is supplier of power generation technology, energy services and management systems with 2000 revenues of $15 billion. The business has the largest installed base of power generation equipment in the global energy industry. Through a series of acquisitions and alliances, GE Power Systems has expanded its portfolio of products, services, and software solutions to serve global customers.

Recent acquisitions of rental equipment and industrial water treatment businesses demonstrate this commitment to serve the energy industry as well as a broader range of industries including telecommunications, entertainment, and high-tech manufacturing.