Azercell, Azerbaijan’s leading mobile operator, and Ericsson have signed a 2G/3G network-expansion contract. Contract includes network transformation of over 1,000 2G/3G sites covering the whole country - a project that is expected to be completed in one year. Implementation of RBS 6000 portfolio, MINI-LINK microwave backhaul and associated core network expansions will result in increased coverage and network performance leading to improved customer experience.

Azercell and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) have signed a 2G/3G network expansion contract which includes network transformation of over 1,000 2G/3G base station sites in Azerbaijan, covering the whole country. Ericsson will deliver products from its RBS 6000 portfolio, multi-standard RAN, MINI-LINK microwave for increased backhaul capacity as well as carrying out the associated core network expansions. Such network expansions will result in increased coverage and better service quality for users. Deliveries will start in Q2 2013, and the network-expansion project is expected to be completed in one year.

Chiril Gaburici, CEO, Azercell, says: "As Azerbaijan is becoming a regional hub for IT and telecom, we are keen to bring the latest technologies to the country and provide high-quality services based on these technologies to our subscribers. Azercell focuses primarily on delivering innovative services to assure the ultimate customer experience, which has allowed us to become the leading operator in Azerbaijan. The need to keep up with constantly changing consumer demands led us to make the largest yearly network investment we have made since we started operations in 1996. Our long-term partnership with Ericsson and the company’s strong expertise defined our choice of supplier for this project."

Pardun Oguz, Head of Ericsson Azerbaijan, says: "The rapid increase in data usage along with constantly growing customer demands set new requirements for network capacity. The RBS 6000 portfolio provides cost-effective deployment and a future-proof evolution in capacity and functionality. Azercell will be able to maintain stable, high-quality network performance, delivering high-quality connections and services."

Ericsson has been a strategic partner to Azercell since it was founded in 1996, providing the company with cutting-edge technologies. Milestone contracts include the launch of a commercial 3G network in 2011, as well as the deployment of a pilot 4G network for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in the capital city, Baku, for which Azercell was one of the sponsors. The smooth user experience maintained during the event paved the way for the introduction of the first 4G network in Azerbaijan, bringing the latest in mobile-broadband technology to Azercell subscribers.

Notes to editors

The RBS 6000 portfolio is a base station solution that enables operators to run GSM, WCDMA and LTE as a single network. It offers cost-effective deployment and a future-proof evolution in capacity and functionality.

Azercell: the facts

Azercell is Azerbaijan’s largest mobile operator, and has maintained its leading position since its inception in 1996. With more than 4 million subscribers, and covering 99.8 percent of the country’s population, the company has a market share of 54 percent. The Azercell brand is part of the TeliaSonera group, uniting 18 key operators, from the Nordic and Baltic regions to Nepal. For more information, please visit: www.azercell.com.

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