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At last: one code, one rate, from Somafone for GSM throughout Somalia

Somalian subscribers have finally gained the benefits of one code and one rate for the whole of their country. Somafone will expand its seamless mobile network with Tecore hosted managed services.

Somafone, a GSM mobile network operator in Somalia, has launched the service in the Puntland region, including Garowe, Galkaio, Bosaso and other cities, utilising hosted managed services from Tecore Networks, a global supplier of multi-technology 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructure. As Somafone continues to expand its network to cover the entire country, it is the only one of ten operators in Somalia to offer service in multiple regions under a single mobile code (252-60) and one rate plan. This deployment demonstrates how “innovative infrastructure solutions delivered under a managed service can provide state-of-the-art communications in challenging locations.”

 The Somafone network is based on Tecore’s iBSS Super-Capacity GSM Radio Access Network (RAN), featuring: high channel capacity and quad-band operation, bandwidth and backhaul optimisation, footprint and power minimisation, and RAN sharing support. Traffic is backhauled via IP over VSAT to the iCore switching platform hosted and managed by Tecore at a centralised facility. Local calls are switched within the RAN, avoiding costly “tromboning” over satellite connectivity. Tecore’s Managed Services team has assumed end-to-end responsibility for network design, installation, operation and performance monitoring based on an ISO 9001:2008-certified customer-driven management system.

 In addition, Somafone is activating Tecore’s FarSite extended-range feature on the iBSS RAN: FarSite achieves a cell radius of up to 120 km, claimed to be quadruple the standard range of a GSM base station. It overcomes a limitation on cell radius imposed by the GSM radio channel structure. The dramatically increased range is particularly beneficial to operators in remote or rural locations, who can install less equipment without sacrificing performance.

 Somafone’s technology and deployment strategies have enabled what it calls unique service offerings. These include:

  • a single mobile code (252-60) and rate plan across territories in Somalia;
  • lowest cost for all domestic and international calls;
  • wireless Internet via GPRS/EDGE; 
  • value-added features such as SMS, SMS-to-e-mail, MMS, USSD, prepaid, balance transfer via USSD; 
  • local prepaid roaming and international roaming including SMS and MMS; and
  • incoming international calls terminated by Belgacom and iBasis.  

“Somalia has been divided for much of its history, but it continues to be one of the most productive nations in Africa according to the United Nations,” said Abdirahman A. Hussein, General Manager of Somafone. “Somafone is supporting a bustling society and economy by providing the necessary bridge of communications between communities. We are very proud to be the first to offer one mobile code and one rate, matching the standard in the rest of the world.”

 “Tecore’s hosted managed services are built on a multi-technology, all-IP mobile networking platform. We’ve lowered the initial investment for operators - anywhere in the world - who can deploy our iBSS RAN connected over IP to our centralised iCore supporting multiple operators,” said Bruce Portell, COO, Tecore Networks. “Utilising our portfolio of technology solutions and end-to-end hosted managed services, operators can entrust their continuous technology advancement to the experts, and focus on winning and satisfying customers.”

 * Somafone Telecommunications Service Company (operating as Somafone) was formed in 2003 as a fully owned subsidiary of Somafone FZ LLC of Dubai Internet City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 ** Tecore Networks is a global supplier of multi-technology 2G, 3G and 4G mobile network infrastructure. It offers integrated value-added features to enable customers to increase ARPU and retention. Our solutions include core as well as radio access network infrastructure, supported by state-of-the-art professional services.

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