Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERICY) has been awarded three contracts in West Africa by the international operator Investcom LLc, with operations in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Ericsson will supply equipment and telecom services for the expansion and upgrading of Investcom's networks in Ghana and Benin as well as supply the infrastructure and telecom services that will underpin a new network in the Republic of Guinea.

Investcom currently has a subscriber base of 4 million with GSM mobile networks mostly under the Areeba brand in Benin, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Yemen, Guinea and more recently, in Afghanistan.


In the Republic of Guinea, Ericsson will provide a complete turnkey GSM network with a capacity of 300,000 subscribers. This network encompasses Ericsson's latest technologies in switching, radio, transmission and intelligent networking.


The rapid growth in Investcom's subscriber base in Benin and Ghana has led to a need to increase the capacity of the GSM networks it runs in those countries. By June of this year Areeba in Ghana had grown to more than 1.4 million subscribers, up from 955,000 at the end of 2004.


Areeba Ghana plans to roll out innovative WCDMA services to its subscribers and continue to innovate within the cellular data market. Areeba Ghana was one of the first African mobile operators to roll out EDGE, with the equipment and services for the upgrade supplied by Ericsson as part of a contract in 2004. Areeba Benin is one of the leading African operators with apprximately 173,000 subscribers at the end of 2004, and is in the process of upgrading and expanding the current network capacity to cater for 400,000 subscribers.


Mr. Jamal Ramadan, Executive Director at Investcom said; "We explored our options and found Ericsson to offer the highest quality and the most cost effective solution.  They understand the operators' needs and are driving technology development in the global mobile telecom industry. West Africa has seen a period of rapid growth for Investcom which gives us the confidence that this will be a highly successful venture."


Elie Bejjani, Regional Account Director at Ericsson said "Ericsson holds a unique position in the service layer, which is increasingly important to us as we roll out new mobile services such as WCDMA and other data offerings.  We are pleased to expand our relationship with Investcom. As one of the region's fastest-growing operators, Investcom is an important customer for Ericsson and we look forward to working closely with the group well into the future."


Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.
 
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About Investcom
Investcom LLc (www.investcomllc.com) is an international provider of mobile telecommunications services with operations in eight countries in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. As of June 2005, Investcom had a total of approximately 4 million managed customers. The company operates GSM networks, mostly under the Areeba(TM) brand, in Syria, Ghana, Yemen, Benin, Liberia, Cyprus, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan. Investcom has also recently been awarded GSM licenses to build and operate mobile networks in Afghanistan and Guinea, expanding its operations to ten countries and boosting its combined population under license to approximately 147 million. The company also provides international carrier services, principally through its operations in Monaco, fixed telephony services in the United Kingdom and telecommunications engineering and consulting services.