Ericsson and Nitel signed the first contract for GSM in 2001, under which Ericsson delivered a system with a capacity of 118,000 subscribers. This expansion will increase Nitel's GSM capacity by an additional 400,000 lines in Africa's most populous country. Network rollout has already started.
"We have had an excellent business relationship with Ericsson dating back to 1990 when they supplied, installed and commissioned a TACS analog cellular telephone system, thereby making Nigeria the first African country to have cellular service," said Nitel's Managing Director, Engineer E. Omeata. "We congratulate Ericsson on winning this contract to further expand our GSM network."
"Ericsson has established itself in Africa as the leading vendor with a 40 percent market share," said Jan Embro, head of Ericsson's market unit for southern Africa. "Increasingly, we're seeing sophisticated cellular services capture significant market share against a backdrop of fixed line networks as African countries turn to wireless networks to meet their burgeoning telecommunications needs."
"There is a huge demand for GSM telephone service in Nigeria. Ericsson's participation in a quick expansion of Nitel's GSM network is very important as many Nigerians are waiting for more Nitel GSM subscriptions," added Jan Embro.
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