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Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks Win Turkmen Network Expansion Contracts

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The Turkmenistan government is reported to have signed network expansion contracts with both Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks for an urgent upgrade of the state owned mobile network, Altyn Asyr.

Phone services in the country have been crippled since the government refused to renew the operating license for the dominant mobile network - owned by Russia's MTS - last December.

Details about the network contract for Altyn Asyr have not been released, although local reports suggested it was for just 50,000 lines, possibly CDMA based.

According to the Mobile World analysts, MTS had just under 2.4 million subscribers at the end of September. It's market share is nearly 80%, so the shut-down is having a serious impact on mobile services in the country.

The military had to be called our earlier this week when hundreds of customers stormed Altyn Asyr offices after the company temporarily suspended distribution of SIM cards due to network congestion problems.

MTS has been operating in Turkmenistan under a trilateral agreement signed in November 2005 by BCTI, MTS and the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan, which expired on December 21 2010. The company said that at all times had reasons to believe that the Agreement would be extended and had approached the Ministry of Communications within the required timeframe to formalize the extension.

On the web: BusinessWeek - Mobile World - CentralAsiaNewswire

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Tags: mts  altyn asyr  military  Turkmenistan