Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has been chosen as preferred supplier by leading Mozambican operator mcel to upgrade and expand its existing 3G radio network in Maputo, Mozambique's capital city, using the latest Ericsson technology. This includes the RBS 6000, which earlier this year was used in setting the record for the fastest internet in the world.
This contract builds on Ericsson's longstanding relationship with mcel and comes on the heels of a recently completed upgrade of mcel's 3G core network by Ericsson. The network upgrade will enable mcel to provide high-speed mobile broadband which can deliver video and web application services, thereby offering their subscribers a superior user experience.
Under the agreement, Ericsson will deploy its industry leading core network solutions as well as its multi-standard base station RBS 6000, supporting GSM/EDGE, 3G (WCDMA/HSPA) and 4G (LTE). The core network solutions include Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution and Ericsson SmartEdge-based Mobile Packet Backbone Network (MPBN) solution which efficiently handle the take off of voice and data.
mcel, the premier operator in Mozambique, started operations in 1997 and now has more than 4.3 million customers and the most extensive network in the country - covering 65% of the geographical area, and 75% of the population.
Published reports show that mobile penetration in Mozambique is mostly in cities, and currently sits at around 35%, while internet penetration is less than 5% with 0.1% having access to broadband1. However there is growing demand for high-speed broadband beyond urban areas.
mcel recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique's Science and Technology Ministry, to roll out community multimedia centers in rural areas. Based on this understanding, mcel will provide internet access to six Mozambican districts.
mcel CEO Mamudo Ibraimo says: "As Mozambique's premier operator, we view our services as an enabler of socioeconomic development and long-term prosperity. We continue to drive the growth and evolution of mobile telephony here through continued expansion, value-oriented innovation and a focus on the delivery of an excellent customer experience.
"Our partnership with Ericsson positions us well to secure our premier position and continued growth in this market," he concluded.
Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says: "mcel's new network will cater to the exceptional traffic growth they expect in the near future. With improved network signalling and transmission capacity from Ericsson, we are committed to ensuring the quality of service mcel delivers to its subscribers."