Ericsson has signed a turnkey contract for expansion of a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) network in Sudan with Mobitel, a company jointly owned by Sudatel and MSI Cellular Holdings of the Netherlands.
Sudatel is the incumbent fixed network operator with over 700,000 subscribers whilst MSI has invested in 13 GSM networks in 13 African countries. The initial contract, as part of a strategic framework agreement, includes radio (BSS) and switching (SS) equipment as well as installation and professional services. Mobitel is the only operator in Sudan to offer GSM services.
With this contract, Ericsson will install over 100 BTS (Base Telecommunications System) sites with an overall capacity of over 400,000 subscribers. With only 170,000 users in Sudan at the present time and a population exceeding 33 million inhabitants, there is substantial potential for new mobile users in the country.
Ericsson's GSM solution will enhance Mobitel's coverage and capacity to meet the untapped demand. Implementation will begin immediately, and when completed by the end of the year, the GSM network will allow Mobitel to offer their customers the latest, most advanced services and to further reinforce their leading position in the market.
Mobitel began operations in 1998 and covers Khartoum and the major cities. Mobitel is the only GSM operator in Sudan. Its major owners are Sudatel (60 percent) and MSI (39 percent). MSI has management control.
Sudatel, the incumbent fixed telecom operator, is a public and listed company owned by the Sudanese government (50 percent), MSI (10 percent), Public (20 percent), Arab investment bank, Etisalat, etc. Sudatel was set up as a public share-holding company with the aim of extending telecommunication services and modernizing equipment and networks.
All sites covered by the old microwave network and all those in the National Capital have been taken over by the company. Sudatel Company began operations in 1994. It started by executing an emergency plan for short-term rehabilitation work for some existing networks at a number of areas in Khartoum State.
MSI Cellular formed in March 1998 from the demerger of Mobile Systems International plc, the world's leading cellular software and consulting group, started with initial operations in Uganda, India and Hong Kong. Since then MSI Cellular has become the operator of GSM cellular networks in Africa with operations in Egypt, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad as well as Uganda.
MSI Cellular has committed in excess of $400 million in Africa since 1998. MSI Cellular networks currently serve over 900,000 customers and cover a total population of 230 million. MSI shareholders include reputable institutions such as IFC, CDC, and AIF. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )