GrameenPhone awards GSM expansion contract to Ericsson

GrameenPhone Ltd., the largest telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh, has awarded a contract to Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERICY) to expand its GSM/EDGE network and prepare the core network for all IP. The USD 150 million contract is to be implemented over a period of two years, during which Ericsson will remain the sole supplier to the GrameenPhone network.
Press release
Feb 14, 2006 11:20 (GMT +00:00)
The contract will provide GrameenPhone with a GSM/EDGE radio network for cost-efficient coverage as well as capacity to cater for traffic growth. It also includes Ericsson Softswitch Solution and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). The network expansion and upgrade will enable GrameenPhone to significantly enhance network quality, performance and coverage.

Erik Aas, CEO of GrameenPhone, says: "With this contract, we will be able to introduce more new services to our customers.  In order to efficiently evolve to the next level of our network expansion and evolution, it is vital that we have Ericsson as a partner. They do not only have a strong technology roadmap and leadership, but also a strong local presence, proven track record and a long-term commitment to this country".

The implementation of Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch is a significant first step for an efficient evolution towards all-IP.  By complementing the mobile softswitch and IP infrastructure with a standardized service environment, GrameenPhone will be able to offer a wide range of new and differentiating multimedia services to its customers. 

Karl-Henrik Sundstrom, Ericsson's Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer, says: "This is a significant milestone in Ericsson's partnership with GrameenPhone.  We are fully committed to helping GrameenPhone strengthen its leadership in Bangladesh and retain their competitiveness in the future by ensuring that their network evolves in an efficient way to meet future needs in multimedia services". 
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.


Ericsson Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 719 6992

About GrameenPhone
GrameenPhone is the largest telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh with more than six million mobile phone subscribers. The company started its operations in March 1997. The majority shareholder is Telenor ASA, while Grameen Telecom Corporation is the other shareholder.
About Ericsson Softswitch Solutions
Ericsson's Softswitch are commercially proven systems that provide a low-risk evolution from existing circuit-switched networks to a telecom quality, IP multimedia service platform. They offer operators the opportunity to utilize network resources for next-generation services in the most cost-effective way, while continuing to profit from classic voice services. More than 55 fixed and mobile operators worldwide have commercially launched services based on Ericsson's true softswitch solutions.
About Ericsson IMS
Ericsson IMS can today provide fixed, mobile and enterprise users with a range of new services such as IMS Push to Talk, IMS weShare (combinational services for sharing media while talking) and IMS Multimedia Telephony (including IP telephony and IP Centrex). Ericsson is the leader in the IMS area with 18 IMS system contracts for commercial launch and 37 contracts for commercial trial, distributed over the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.