By Tawanda Chihota
Investcom recently listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, the first telecoms stock to list on the bourse.
Mobile telecoms operator Investcom has awarded Ericsson three supply contracts in West Africa worth US$31 million in total. Ericsson will supply equipment and services for the expansion and upgrade of Investcom’s networks in Ghana and Benin, and will also supply the infrastructure and services that will underpin a new network in Guinea. Investcom currently has 3.3 million subscribers under licence in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Syria, Yemen, Guinea, Sudan and recently, in Afghanistan. It operates under the Areeba brand in the majority of these markets.
In Guinea, Ericsson will provide a complete GSM network with a capacity of 300,000 subscribers. As of June, Areeba Ghana had grown to more than 1.4 million subscribers, up from 955,000 at the end of 2004.
Areeba Ghana plans to roll out WCDMA services and was one of the first African cellular operators to roll out EDGE, with the equipment and services for that upgrade supplied by Ericsson as part of a 2004 contract.
Areeba Benin counted around 173,000 subscribers at the end of 2004 and is in the process of upgrading and expanding the current network capacity to cater for 400,000 subscribers.
“Ericsson understands its operators’ needs and is driving technology development in the global cellular industry,” says Jamal Ramadan, executive director of Investcom. Investcom recently listed on the Dubai International Financial Exchange, the first telecoms stock to list on the bourse.