By Tawanda Chihota
Warid launched commercial GSM/GPRS services in Pakistan at the beginning of June and Ericsson has been selected to build out and maintain the operator’s network in 20 cities.
UAE-based mobile operator Warid Telecom has appointed Ericsson to offer managed services for its network in Pakistan. Warid launched commercial GSM/GPRS services in Pakistan at the beginning of June and Ericsson has been selected to build out and maintain the operator’s network in 20 cities.
Ericsson will take full responsibility for deployment, operation, maintenance and optimisation of the network in the additional 20 cities and the contract includes provisioning of a complete turnkey GSM/GPRS solution for core and radio network. When completed, Warid Telecom's network capacity will increase from 1.5 million to 3.5 million subscribers. Deployment has already started and is expected to be completed by September in 2005.
Ericsson operates the largest telecoms services division in the world and has been targeting operators in the Middle East with great success. “The advent of competition has forced operators in the Middle East to reassess their priorities and consider what their core businesses are,” said Robert Clark, key account manager for Ericsson in Oman. “The speed at which technology is changing requires experts to keep up with it and transfer that expertise to operators,” he added. Ericsson also has a managed services contract in place with Omani new entrant Nawras.
Algerian network operator Orascom Telecom in the meantime has commissioned Siemens to expand its network in the country, utilising “SmartInspire” equipment. Siemens developed this solution specifically for emerging markets. Orascom operates under the Djezzy brand name in Algeria and counted 3.4 million GSM subscribers at the end of 2004.