Cellcom, Guinea: Investing in quality


The Cellcom Group extends its global reach with a successful rollout in Guinea.

Cellcom Guinea takes second position in the market within six months of launch with a leading transmission network from Ericsson.

The Cellcom Group saw a business opportunity to set up a quality network in Guinea and surpass the level of service already available in the country. It was a risk to enter the market as the fifth mobile operator in a country with a population of 9.8 million and a very low average income. Cellcom was determined that coverage and quality of service would be its unique selling point and turned to Ericsson to make this a reality with an advanced core, radio and transmission network.

Cellcom was very involved in the design and planning of the network, and with quality being of paramount importance, the operator decided to go for a self-built transmission network. Although this involved a large initial investment it enables Cellcom to maintain vital control of cost and quality. The transmission network consists of MINI-LINK TN and Marconi LH, both of which are scalable in capacity and well prepared for IP over Ethernet, which secures cost-efficient growth for Cellcom in Guinea.

The MINI-LINK TN supports long microwave site-to-site distances and the capacity can be upgraded remotely from the city-based headquarters via softkeys. The Marconi LH is a high capacity and low energy alternative to fiber transmission over long distances. The overall solution proved to be efficient for Cellcom Guinea in the early stages of its launch, providing a low capacity network with the in-built scalability to support long-term goals and gradual expansion without the need to invest in new hardware.

Already, the solution has pushed Cellcom into second position in the Guinean market with coverage which reaches 65 percent of the population and an impressive brand reputation. Bodil Josefsson, Key Account Manager, Ericsson explains: "The Cellcom Group is always looking for opportunities to increase its footprint and this expansion in Guinea has been carefully implemented to fulfill a need in the country. Subscribers have really seen the difference in quality with Cellcom's service and combined with good marketing this has resulted in fantastic brand recognition in the region."

Ericsson was selected for this project due to the stability and quality of its products, in addition to its leading position in microwave transmission and commitment to providing future-proof solutions. Hanoch Dombek, CEO, Cellcom Guinea talks about the scalability of the network: "When we embarked on the launch in Guinea we wanted to start with a limited amount of capacity and increase this gradually as subscriber numbers grew. It was important for us to have the ability to increase capacity quickly and smoothly when necessary so MINI-LINK TN was the perfect solution. It is simple to install and with easy upgrades and IP over Ethernet capabilities it will support all of our future capacity needs."


Customer: Cellcom Guinea

Customer Objective

  • Launch a stable and efficient network across Guinea
  • Create a long-term viable business opportunity
  • Provide better accessibility and a higher quality service

Ericsson Solution

  • Marconi LH
  • Mobile Softswitch Solution
  • GSM Radio

Customer Benefits

  • Efficient and scalable network
  • Future-proof investment
  • Increased network reliability
  • Loyal subscriber following

Customer profile

Established in 2004, Cellcom operates in Liberia and Guinea and plans to expand its footprint in other countries throughout Africa. With a philosophy where quality comes first, the operator provides communication services to a constantly growing number of satisfied subscribers.

A leading provider of communication services in West Africa, Cellcom offers cellular network access, mobile internet and business solutions. The operator's offering includes a host of services ranging from high quality voice calls, SMS and MMS to international communication services, a wide selection of advanced content and tailor-made business solutions.

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