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NSN to expand Bakcell GSM service in Azerbaijan

NSN will provide a GSM network expansion and upgrade to EDGE to provide Bakcell with enhanced quality and coverage in Azerbaijan.

Bakcell, Azerbaijan's second largest mobile operator, is expanding its 2G network to meet the growing needs of consumers across the country. The network upgrade to EDGE provided by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will extend network coverage and enhance the quality of service to Bakcell subscribers, addressing the growing need for new mobile data services.

Under the contract, NSN will provide to Bakcell a comprehensive radio and a core network extension, introducing its Flexi EDGE Base Station Platform to the Bakcell network. The modular Flexi concept is intended to help Bakcell implement lean site designs and reduce operational costs through the market's lowered power consumption provided by Flexi.

Ineke Botter, CEO of Bakcell, commented: "It is our aim to provide our subscribers in Baku and the regions with the latest technology and better network coverage. We are convinced that with the new Nokia Siemens Networks technology, Bakcell will be in a position to develop novel data services for its subscribers. The technology is environmentally friendly and enables Bakcell to ensure flexibility in offering a new variety of user-friendly mobile services such as combined video, internet and audio usage. It will also allow the simultaneous use of voice and data at a speed comparable to ADSL."

"We are extremely happy to be chosen by Bakcell for this important network extension in many new regions in Azerbaijan. With our advanced products, we will be able to significantly improve the quality of service to the Bakcell subscribers, and prepare the network for rapidly growing data communication needs...the two companies have worked together since 2006 in the Baku area - now with this expansion, we are committed to providing the same proven support in all of Azerbaijan," said Walter Lemor, Head of Azerbaijan and Georgia, NSN.

NSN claims the Flexi Base Station chosen by Bakcell is small, modular and easy to install, reflected in faster network roll-outs and allowing easy site-sharing with other operators. It can also, it is claimed, bring up to 70% savings to operators in site energy consumption and can  easily be combined with other advanced mobile radio technologies, e.g., 3G, WiMAX and LTE. The network extension will be fully implemented by the end of 2009.

*Bakcell is the first company to provide cellular communication in Azerbaijan. Having started as one of the first large investors in Azerbaijan, Bakcell continues to invest to improve communication services in the country. Bakcell now covers more than 88% of the population and 80% of the land area of Azerbaijan.

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