KARACHI - Nokia Siemens Networks and National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) signed on Thursday an 'IP Core Network Rollout Contract' to expand NTC's current IP Services circle from three to 21 cities across Pakistan. Internet Protocol (IP) backbone is a pre-requisite for Next Generation Networks, networks designed to run multimedia and real-time applications. This project will enable NTC to move to Next Generation Networking (NGN) Switching and Transmission Networks to provide state of the art services, sell IP bandwidth to other operators and offer Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to its customer as well. "Nokia Siemens Networks demonstrated its capability as a true solutions provider and we are looking forward to implementing this landmark project with NTC," said Veqar Ul Islam, Country Director of Pakistan and Afghanistan for Nokia Siemens Networks. "This system will considerably reduce operational costs for NTC as well, which can be carried across to customers as well."   "This step will enable NTC's infrastructure to transform from Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to a fully IP-enabled Next Generation Network. Globally, telecom carriers are migrating to IP-based architecture which reduces service costs considerably. Today, we join them in bringing better telecommunications services to our customers," said Khalid Javed, COO of NTC. Nokia Siemens Networks will be supporting 95 percent of NTC's networks. The IP Roll Out project is expected to be completed by the mid of May, 2008 and will be operational by the beginning of August, 2008.  National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) is a fully government owned telecom service provider, which enjoys a monopoly in providing voice and data services to government offices in Pakistan. In NTC, NSN has Network Share of 90%.   Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of communications services. The company provides a complete, well-balanced product portfolio of mobile and fixed network infrastructure solutions and addresses the growing demand for services with 20,000 service professionals worldwide.