Ericsson to expand Botswana GSM network in SA

Botswana GSM service provider, Mascom, has chosen Ericsson Inc. as its supplier of choice for cellular equipment and services for the expansion of its South African GSM network. The deal will see Mascom implementing networking technologies in and around Francistown over the next three months.

In 1998 Mascom was awarded a GSM licence and commenced service within five weeks. To date, it has a high market share in Botswana, which it claims is a result of its ability to provide customers with speedy and efficient service delivery.

The placement of the new equipment order with Ericsson presents Mascom with additional capacity, new services to offer clients, as well as the opportunity to expand its network across the whole of Botswana and beyond.

The order includes a Mobile Switch Controller (MSC), Base Station Controller (BSC) and numerous Radio Base Stations (RBS). Ericsson will deliver by the end of the second quarter, and provide the services required to ensure that all equipment is integrated into the existing network and functions at peak performance levels. The global communications organization has also been tasked with providing training, network capacity, performance monitoring and revenue consulting. Ericsson will also make available to Mascom business consulting competence for the maximization of its business potential.

"Mascom is enjoying significant growth in the area of data services," says Thiagesapillai Anpan, vice-president of customer accounts. "This deal will not only boost our footprint in Botswana, but ensure that we can offer the widest coverage, as well as the best service at the highest possible quality," says Jose Ferreira, CEO of Mascom.

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