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UGC and Alcatel jointly announce "e-CT", an interactive cinema application on Nextenso portal software

Alcatel and UGC, European leader in cinematography activities, will present at Cannes, an interactive cinema application e-CT (Electronic Cinema Ticketing). This application, which is accessible from a mobile phone, a PDA, or a PC, connected to the new broadband telecommunication networks, offer the end-users numerous possibilities. It allows for instance the end-user to choose a film from a large variety multimedia content (movie shorts, original sound tracks, pictures) in accordance to the used terminal. In order to be sure to see the selected movie, the user will be able to reserve its seat through his terminal in real time, with different and entirely secured billing solutions, therefore avoid standing in line and simply picking-up their ticket at the UGC PROMPTO tellers.

UGC and Alcatel are collaborating to develop interactive cinema applications, based on Nextensos (Alcatel subsidiary) creation software technology and relying on new generation GPRS and UMTS mobile networks.

UCG, with its excellent understanding of the cinema market and the high expectations of todays cinema-going public, contributed to the e-CT offer its state-of-the-art UGC PROMPTO station technology, with its multi-device secure ticket reservation and pick-up system, as well as the multimedia content of the application with partner CineWay.

Nextenso has developed the e-CT application and enriched it with its software suite, and then deployed the service through its demonstration portal Nextenso Online. As a result, this interactive cinema application benefits from all of the personalization, localization, notification, syndication offered by Nextenso and Alcatel.

The e-CT application integrates the Alcatel Payment Solutions which offer a link between the service authorization and the payment. End to End secure payments are guaranteed for several payment means (loyalty cards, prepaid accounts, credit card payments).

All of the applications presented are supported by Alcatels high-speed 3G (GPRS, UMTS) radio infrastructures.

Benoît de Larouzière, general manager of e-UGC, said, "This partnership with Alcatel is in perfect alignment with the new high value-added services that we are offering to our spectators. UGC has already invented cinema subscriptions and real-time ticket reservations; now we are continuing to innovate with the best technology to marry service and ease of use. When we first met with Nextenso, we immediately saw the benefits our spectators would obtain from finding our PROMPTO reservation system on e-CT, a marvellous application that draws the best from both broadband networks and multi-terminal accessibility."

Denis Attal, CEO of Nextenso, concurred, "We are thrilled with the confidence that UGC has shown in our company. Our multi-access software suite adds to the technological advance that UGC holds in this market, by bringing all of the dimensions of personalization, today indispensable for new generation Internet services. This partnership provides a perfect fit with our strategy to develop user-centric applications rather than applications based on one specific isolated Internet device. Thanks to our partnership with UGC, Nextenso shows once again that its Internet portal technologies enable the creation of mass-market services that are both simple and adapted to the needs of todays users."

Olivier Baujard, President of Alcatels Network Application Division adds: « This is again a demonstration of Alcatels capability to provide to its customers with innovative application suites, allowing them to generate revenues and differentiate. Alcatels customers benefit from the deep knowledge of telecom networks and telecom software integration skills to provide End-to-End solutions in association with valuable Content Providers combining attractive content with personalisation and localisation. ».

A protoype of the Electronic Cinema Ticketing application resulting from this collaboration is being presented on Alcatels stand during the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes (February 20-23).

About UGC
European leader in cinematographic exploitation, UGC is also a key player is the fields of production, distribution, advertising and audiovisual licensing. The ensemble of the groups exploitation activities is known under the brand UGC CinéCité which today represents 767 screens. Accessible in five European countries (France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Belgium), they saw over 50 million tickets sold in 2000. UGC is the inventor of the cinema subscription with its UGC UNLIMITED card and also innovated with its UGC PROMPTO reservation and ticket withdrawal system. This system enables the movie-goer to reserve and to buy his or her cinema tickets in real time for all UGC movie theatres by telephone, Minitel, Internet or WAP telephone. This distribution channel, currently experiencing tremendous growth, supplies more than 25,000 tickets a week to UGC spectators and has fulfilled its double promise: guarantee the user a place and help him or her avoid waiting in line!

About Alcatel
Alcatel builds next generation networks, delivering integrated end-to-end voice and data networking solutions to established and new carriers, as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 130,000 employees and sales of EURO 31 billion in 2000, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet: http://www.alcatel.fr

About Nextenso
Nextenso, a subsidiary of Alcatel, develops and commercializes a rich and modular suite of applications and services for creating and managing personalized, multi-device Internet portals that are accessible from all Internet-enabled terminals. Ready-to-customize Nextenso applications and services easily integrate into all wireless and wireline networks, leveraging the value of portals by taking advantage of existing Internet content and providing continuity of service across all devices and environments. The unique carrier- grade architecture of the Nextenso solution is rapid to deploy and responds to the markets demand for the highest quality of service and availability. Nextenso-powered new generation Internet portals can adapt to the varying needs of existing and future Internet devices, including WAP-enabled mobile telephones, PCs, Internet screenphones, Internet television, handheld organizers, etc. For more information, please visit our web site at: http://www.nextenso.com

For further information, please contact:
Carine Boyé
Tel. +33 1 46 40 44 00

Chrystelle Dugimont
Tel. + 33 1 55 59 37 86