First operational GSM service launched in Yemen
Electronics giant Siemens, in conjunction with SabaFon, one of two licensed GSM Service providers for Yemen, have announced the successful launch of the first operational GSM service in Yemen. The footprint of the initial GSM service covers Sanaa and according to the company will shortly be extended to most of the country.
The project has been completed in a record six weeks from the date SabaFon contracted Siemens, with a $ 60 million investment, to operate the system and provide all technical equipment for the GSM network.
Due to the geographical diversity of Yemen, in the first phase 90,000 phone lines will be made available to subscribers in all governorates, with Sana'a the first to benefit from the network, followed by Aden, the secondary governorates and all main roads. In the second phase, the whole of Yemen will be covered, as an additional 70,000 lines will be brought into operation, Vice chairman of SabaFon company, Hamyar Al-Ahmer, told the Yemen Observer .
Al-Ahmer added that "all the distinguished characteristics of the system are available, such as voice messages, text messages, caller number display, and secure lines that prevent calls being listened in to". Extra services provided to clients will include the installation of local, regional and international lines as required.
Director General of SabaFon, Hassan Kabbani, told the Yemen Observer that the launching of SabaFon GSM services will provide grounds to attract foreign investors and update the communication facilities in the country. Kabbani said he expected the company to have 1.5-2 million mobile telephone subscribers during the upcoming10 years.
According to Kabbani, the cost of a GSM line will not exceed 20,000 Yemeni riyals ($110) while the phone call fees would cost YR 14 per minute. The price will be reduced to YR 10 per minute if the call is made from one mobile to another on the SabaFon network.
Awarded the Yemeni GSM license in July 2000, the SabaFon consortium consists of the Al-Ahmar Trade & Industry Complex, Egyptian Telecommunications Orascom Co., Hellenic Telecommunications Helascom, the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Yemeni businessman Hamid Al-Ahmer. Orascom Telecom serves as the operator of the consortium.
Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (ICM) is an international supplier of telecom solutions with over 150 GSM networks serving more than 140 million subscribers. Siemens ICM Group, with 26,000 employees and sales of six billion euros, is part of Siemens AG. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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