A comprehensive transformation of Asiacell’s network in conjunction with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) is already paying off for the Iraqi operator, with an increase in subscriber numbers and improvements in a number of key performance and customer satisfaction metrics.
Asiacell joined forces with Ericsson in 2014 to implement its “Golden Province” network infrastructure improvement program, designed to help build a more robust network for mobile broadband services.
The program covers a wide range of activities, including radio network and end-to-end optimiza¬tion, feature activations, and capacity enhancements.
Although the project only began recently, Asiacell is already able to prove the value of these improvements, measuring their impact on end-user experience, customer loyalty, by using multiple before-and-after assessment tools.
Mohammed Baban, CTO, Asiacell says: "Ericsson’s network improvement program, inaugurated in 2014, has optimized our network performance, and boosted the overall user experience. This has cemented customer loyalty among our users, many of whom are now willing to pay for better-quality services. We are proud of the results achieved under our partnership with Ericsson, a leading provider of communications technology and services."
Rafiah Ibrahim, President Ericsson Region Middle East and East Africa: “Our collaboration with Asiacell, was created to ensure the delivery of an excellent, higher-quality mobile broadband experience. Today, we are witnessing the fruits of our longstanding partnership -- customer-focused accessibility, high-performance network solutions and greater user satisfaction.”
Mobile broadband has emerged as the most effective and popular way to connect in Iraq in recent years.
A key component in the network transformation program is the use of the Ericsson RBS 6000, a multi-standard radio base station that offers 80 percent lower energy consumption per subscriber and takes up 75 percent less space compared to earlier base station standards. This reduces Asiacell’s carbon footprint and provides considerable savings on site rental.
The base stations deployed are currently using WCDMA/HSPA technology and are prepared for future LTE introduction. Ericsson and Asiacell first forged a three-year partnership in 2012.
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Asiacell is a leading provider of quality mobile telecommunications services in Iraq. Asiacell was the first mobile telecommunications provider in Iraq to achieve nationwide coverage, offering its services across all of Iraq’s 18 governorates including the national capital Baghdad and all other major Iraqi cities. Asiacell’s network covers 99.06% of the Iraqi population which makes its national coverage the widest among the mobile operators in Iraq.
In 2012, Asiacell was recognized by the French market research firm Altai as being Iraq’s leading brand – not only in the mobile telecommunications market but across all sectors – a reflection of Asiacell’s strong brand recognition and its established reputation for quality, reliability and service.
Asiacell provides prepaid mobile communications services that formed 99% of its subscribers (as of November 2014). Prepaid lines offers include some amended package offers to suit different sectors of the market-including young people, women and an innovative service targeting millions of visitors to Iraq every year. Asiacell also provides post-paid services to companies and individuals.
In December 2014, Asiacell awarded the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative award in CommsMEA international festival in Dubai for its humanitarian and connectivity programs for the refugees and internally displaced population of Iraq.
In a pioneering achievement it fulfilled at the beginning of 2013, Asiacell won “mWomen” award granted by International Mobile Telecommunications Union for the category of the best communications services provided to women in the nascent markets, in recognition of its active role and efforts it made to develop communications industry in Iraq that culminated with the launch of innovative “Almas” line in Global Mobile Awards that belongs to International Mobile Telecommunications Conference held in Barcelona, Spain.
In November 2013, Asiacell won top prize in ‘Corporate Finance’ category for its record-breaking IPO, at ACT 2013 awards during The Association of Corporate Treasurers Middle East (ACTME) conference held in Dubai.
In April 2013, Asiacell received the 'The Best Equity Capital Market Deal Award' during the TMT Finance Middle East & North Africa 2013 Conference held in Dubai.
In February 2013, Asiacell won the Global Mobile Award in Barcelona, Spain for Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets for its Almas Line product conceived for, and sold exclusively to, Iraqi women.
In 2011, the Iraqi Ministry of Communications (MOC) recognized Asiacell as the “best GSM operator” in Iraq.