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Ericsson to Expand Zain Madagascar network

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Ericsson has signed a contract with the Zain Group to expand the core network and the GSM radio access network for Zain Madagascar. The expansion of Zain Madagascar's network, which has been operational since 2005, is centered upon deploying Ericsson's Packet Core Network, including both SGSN and GGSN nodes, and Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution.

Rollout of the first phase of the project has already begun.

Jan Embro, Head of sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson, says: "With this network expansion, Zain Madagascar will be able to meet subscriber growth and increased demand for its mobile services. In addition, Zain Madagascar will also reduce its core network operating expenses through improved network capacity, performance and operational efficiency."

This first step towards an all-IP core network will employ a layered architecture that allows Zain to use its existing infrastructure and ensure a common foundation for new consumer services. The new architecture will also allow Zain Madagascar to reduce the number and size of its main core network sites.

Ericsson will also provide a range of associated professional services including systems integration, network deployment, field maintenance, and support services.

No financial details were provided.

According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, Zain Madagascar ended last September with just under 1.1 million customers - representing a market share of around 31%. The country has a population penetration level of just 17.5%.

Location Map of Madagascar

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Tags: core network  ericsson  zain  radio access network  mobile softswitch  gsm  zain group  packet core  ggsn  sgsn  africa  softswitch  Madagascar