Ericsson to expand Bahrain’s mobile network
Sweden's Ericsson won on a deal worth $26 million to expand the mobile telephone network in Bahrain. The contract stipulates the expansion of Bahrain’s telecom company Batelco’s GSM to accommodate 80,000 additional users, bringing the total number of users to 400,000, said a press release.
The deal, which was signed on Wednesday, includes the construction of two gateway-switching centers and 15 new radio base stations, a Batelco statement said. The deal also provides for the modernization of the network to adapt it to the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and third generation (3G) mobile telephones.
The mobile telephone market in Bahrain grew by 54 percent last year, said Batelco board director Mohammad Ben Khalifa Al-Khalifa. Bahrain had 283,000 mobile telephone subscribers, representing the second-highest per capita rate in the Middle East.
Batelco holds a monopoly on Bahrain’s telecom industry. The company has spent approximately $145 million since 1995 to develop the mobile telephone network in the Gulf state, said Khalifa. The Bahraini government has a 39 percent stake in the company, with Britain's Cable and Wireless holding 20 percent and the remaining 41 percent publicly traded. — (Mena Report)
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