Ericsson's managed services agreement with Warid Telecommunications Pvt. Limited (Warid Telecom) in Pakistan has been expanded with the build out and maintenance of the GSM/GPRS network in 20 cities, added to the nationwide network.

With this expansion contract, Ericsson will take full responsibility for deployment, operation, maintenance and optimization of the network in the additional 20 cities. The contract includes provisioning of a complete turnkey GSM/GPRS solution for core and radio network.
When completed, Warid Telecom's network capacity will increase from 1.5 million to 3.5 million subscribers. The deployment has already started and is expected to be complete by September, 2005.

The contract reaffirms the strong relationship between Ericsson and Warid Telecom. Ericsson has deployed Warid Telecom's greenfield network and is now also operating the same.  The network, covering 28 major cities and several main highways throughout Pakistan, was commercially launched in May, 2005.

Hamid Farooq, Chief Executive Officer of Warid Telecom, says that this has been a partnership in the true sense of the word. "With Ericsson taking care of the network deployment and maintenance, we have been able to focus on bringing high quality mobile communications services to all Pakistanis and establishing our brand on the market," he says.

Zibber Mohiuddin, Country Manager of Ericsson Pakistan, says that Warid's decision to award Ericsson with the expansion of its network is proof of Ericsson's strengths as a managed services partner.

Warid Telecom is planning to launch several new services with the completion of its network expansion programme, including missed call notification and mobile portal. Warid Telecom already offers postpaid and prepaid services, short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) with the launch of phase 1 of its network last month.  
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About Warid Telecommunications 

Warid Telecom is owned by the Abu Dhabi Group, which is led by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan.  Apart from having a substantial shareholding in Bank Alfalah and United Bank Limited, the Abu Dhabi Group also has other international investments in the telecommunications, Finance, hospitality, Property, Oil exploration & supplies, and automobile industries. 

About Ericsson's managed services offering

Ericsson has the telecom industry's most comprehensive managed services offerings, ranging from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer's network, to hosting service applications and enablers, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand. As the undisputed leader in managed services, Ericsson has officially announced more than 45 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002. In all its current managed services contracts, excluding hosting, Ericsson is managing networks that together serve more than 38 million subscribers worldwide.