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Sat 30 Dec 2006 12:00 AM

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Nawras picks Ericsson to enhance mobile network

Operator to provide Edge in Oman via partnership

Oman's second mobile operator Nawras has signed a US$50 million three-year contract with Ericsson to roll out an extension to its mobile network infrastructure in Oman.

The contract, which was issued after an international tender process, is a continuation of Ericsson’s partnership with Nawras to deliver advanced Edge (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) network infrastructure across the country.

According to Peter Rubeck, chief technical officer at Nawras, the deal will enable Nawras to increase its coverage of the population from 85% to 96%, and will cover radio, core networks, site acquisition, planning, and civil works.

“Nawras chose Ericsson for the company’s ability to continue building on the current top-notch network, employing the latest technology available anywhere in the world, to ensure that Nawras customers will carry on enjoying the most advanced and reliable service,” stated Rubeck.

Nawras is the only operator currently offering Edge mobile technology, which enables high-speed data in remote locations, in the country, according to the company.

“We are very pleased that Ericsson has been selected to continue the partnership with Nawras,” Ericsson’s general manager for Oman, Peter Andersson, commented.

The extension of the Ericsson contract comes on the heels of Nawras’s recently announced distribution agreement with Oman’s post office, which will see Nawras products being distributed through 94 post office branches in Oman. It also follows its preferred provider agreement with the petroleum services industry body Opal.

Since entering the Omani market in March 2005, Nawras has captured 30% of the mobile market with over 500,000 prepaid subscribers.

“I see no reason why we should grow more slowly than we already are. We continue to have a very healthy demand, we are growing our distribution and as we start focusing on the business community hopefully there will be a portion of that community that trusts our service,” Nawras CEO Ross Cormack said in a recent interview with
IT Weekly


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