Ericsson provides temporary GSM network to UN's World Food Program in Afghanistan

Press release  |  Jan 17, 2002 11:00 (GMT +00:00)

Ericsson has set up a complete mobile telecommunications solution in Kabul
that will during the next six months support the UN humanitarian operations in
Afghanistan. Ericsson is working with the World Food Program (WFP), the
leading UN agency in humanitarian aid, also responsible for the initial set-up
and maintenance of relief telecommunications in the Afghanistan region.

"This project is unique and the largest Ericsson Response effort so far," says
Kurt Hellström, president and CEO of Ericsson. "It is in line with our
long-term commitment and partnership with the World Food Program. We are proud
that our telecommunications equipment and expertise will improve the quality
and efficiency of relief operations."

Ericsson provides a complete GSM system, which is now installed on a hill in
the center of Kabul. The GSM system can host up to 5000 subscribers, and it
will initially provide communication for 200 users from the UN and other
humanitarian organizations making their relief work more efficient. In
addition, Ericsson is donating several hundred R250 mobile phones.

"The availability of reliable communication is vital to ensure the delivery of
food and the provision of humanitarian aid to areas stricken by natural or
man-made disasters," says Jessie Mabutas, Assistant to the Executive Director
in the World Food Program. "Through the partnership with Ericsson, WFP is
building new answers to emergency telecommunications' requirements."

Telia Mobile, the leading operator of mobile services in Scandinavia, provides
the link from the satellite connection in to the existing Swedish Telia GSM
network. Calling Kabul is as simple as dialing a mobile phone in Sweden, using
the Swedish country code 46.

SWE-DISH Satellite Systems, a Swedish provider of satellite equipment,
provides free of charge all satellite equipment used in Kabul and a modem for
the satellite connection in Sweden. SWE-DISH is a world-leading supplier of
mobile satellite communications equipment and related services for broadband applications.

The communications aid is part of Ericsson Response - a global initiative
aimed at developing a better and faster response to human suffering caused by
disasters. Ericsson Response is in partnership with World Food Program and
International Federation of Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) developing disaster
preparedness programs around the world.

Further information about the Ericsson Response program is available on

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications
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in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful
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Maja Sever, Manager Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 719 0118 or +46 70 542 9504

For information about the World Food Program visit or
contact, phone: +390665131.