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Alcatel-Lucent Wins 3-Year GSM Contract in Burundi

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Alcatel Lucent has been awarded a 3 years frame agreement by Africa Cellulaire (Africell) Burundi, a subsidiary of VTEL Holdings, which will start operating under its new "TEMPO" brand, for the delivery of a complete nation wide GSM EDGE network. The first phase of the contract is valued at USD20 million.

Under the terms of the contract Alcatel-Lucent will install and deploy a full end-to-end GSM /EDGE network, including Base Station Sub-systems (BSS), next-generation-based Mobile Switching Centers, Intelligent Network applications and services platforms as well as radio optimization design and consulting services. Alcatel-Lucent also will supply its high capacity microwave transmission solution to support the transport of voice and data traffic from the base stations to the core network.

In addition Alcatel-Lucent will be solely responsible for the maintenance of the operator's network (which could presumably be handed over to the Reliance JV announced yesterday).

Mr. Nour Atout, VTEL's chief executive officer for Africa commented "Burundi is a very important market for VTEL, given its existing growth potential, and we are quite positive that Alcatel-Lucent's state-of-the-art GSM/EDGE solutions will enable us to achieve our objective of bringing advanced mobile telephony to parts of Burundi it has not reached before."

Figures from the Mobile World show that Burundi has four active phone operators (6 licenses) in a tiny country with a population of just 8.6 million (nearly half of whom are children). Africell is estimated to have ended last year with around 113,000 subscribers - which represents a market share of 20%. The country as a whole ended last year with just 562,000 subscribers.

Location Map of Burundi

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Tags: alcatel-lucent  core network  reliance  microwave  intelligent network  base stations  Burundi