Vodafone has chosen Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch to expand its network in Fiji. Ericsson will also introduce the first 3G network to the Pacific Ocean nation with a WCDMA upgrade.
The contract also includes turnkey project management and business consulting. Network management and support services will be provided by Ericsson's operations center in Australia, and include local services capabilities in Fiji to support network operations and effect local knowledge transfer. The business consulting services will be focused on supporting Vodafone's 3G services launch.
Ericsson's mobile softswitch is the first step towards an all-IP network and will upgrade Vodafone's network in the most cost-efficient way. In combination with 3G/WCDMA, Vodafone Fiji will be able to launch next-generation services that will be a huge bonus for both Fijians and the many tourists who visit the islands every year.
Barry Borzillo, Managing Director for Ericsson Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Islands, says: "We are very proud to work with Vodafone Fiji as they transition to the next-generation network and to 3G services. Our offering captures the end-to-end perspective of the service environment. It's about giving users the services they want and making them easy to use."
Aslam Khan, CEO of Vodafone, Fiji, says: "Ericsson has proven itself as the leader in this area. They will help us drive industry growth, create new jobs and deliver better prices and new services to Fijian consumers, and to visitors to Fiji who are roaming onto Vodafone's 3G network."
Khan says that while Vodafone Fiji is spending USD 15 million with Ericsson, they will also invest further over the next five years in upgrading its network to create a world-class experience for its customers and potential investors to Fiji. This would include the introduction of new services and extended coverage throughout Fiji.
Ericsson will deploy 3G/WCDMA coverage from mid-2006.
According to Vodafone Fiji, about 500,000 tourists visited Fiji last year. Of these, 80 percent brought their mobile phone, with 90 percent of these roaming onto Vodafone Fiji's current network.
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