Hits Telecom Uganda US$100 million GSM deal

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a US$100 million contract with Hits Telecom Uganda, a new regional operator, to deploy a new mobile network based on GSM technology. The contract also calls for Alcatel-Lucent to provide a full suite of managed services.

The turnkey network Alcatel-Lucent is deploying will enable Hits Telecom Uganda to introduce its services in Uganda in time for the Summit of the 53 Heads of States of the Commonwealth Countries, which will take place in November. Hits Telecom Uganda will be able to quickly expand its GSM offer throughout Africa and may even position itself as a best-in-class telecom service provider, focusing on quality of services.

“Hits Telecom Uganda and Alcatel-Lucent share a common view regarding the role they can play in enhancing the communications services available to the people of Africa, said Ahmed Darweesh Bin Dagher Al Marar, Chairman of the Board of Hits Telecom Uganda. “This project is also supported by IIH (International Investment House), a leading investment company in emerging countries and has mandated 1COM to manage the operations of Hits Telecom Uganda. 1COM is a European based company specialised in telecom management, consultancy and all related services,” he added.

“…Hits Telecom Uganda, which benefits from access to a broad radio spectrum, will be extending its coverage to new markets, including semi-urban and rural areas of Uganda, while focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This is the cornerstone of the Hits philosophy: the firm belief that everyone in Uganda should have access to high-quality wireless network services at an affordable price, providing optimum value.”

He further noted that this new GSM network will contribute to Uganda’s overall telecommunications infrastructure, making it one of the many countries in Africa investing in new solutions to enhance its communications infrastructure to better serve people in these countries, particularly in the rural areas, where there is a critical need for wireless connectivity.

Olivier Picard, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s activities for Europe and South, has stated: “We are committed to completing the first phase of this network in time to serve the participants of the Commonwealth Summit in November.”

Under the agreement Alcatel-Lucent will supply a full end-to-end GSM network as well as transmission solutions with microwave systems to dynamically optimise the transmission of voice and data traffic from the base stations to the core network. Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible not only for complete network design and deployment, including OSS/BSS integration, but also will help Hits Telecom Uganda manage and maintain the network by providing a suite of managed services. Alcatel-Lucent will also supply its IP routing solution to provide massive scalability and critical Quality of Service features while simultaneously reducing operational complexity.

* Hits Telecom Uganda is a new Uganda telecoms operator, whose majority shareholder is International Investment House, an international Investment firm with its HQ in Abu Dhabi). HITS Telecom Uganda has been awarded a full telecommunications licence, which includes the GSM 900/1800 spectrum, WIMAX broadband, international gateway, mobile virtual network operation and data transmission services.

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