Mozambican capital gets 3G network overhaul

A leading Mozambican operator is upgrading its 3G radio network in the country’s capital city of Maputo. Equipment for mcel’s network overhaul will be provided by Ericsson, and will include the RBS 6000, which earlier this year was used in setting the record for the fastest internet in the world.

The two companies have a longstanding relationship, with Ericsson having previous upgraded mcel’s 3G core network. The network upgrade will enable mcel to provide high-speed mobile broadband which can deliver video and web application services.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will deploy its core network solutions as well as its multi-standard base station RBS 6000, supporting GSM/EDGE, 3G (WCDMA/HSPA) and 4G (LTE).

mcel, the premier operator in Mozambique, started operations in 1997 and now has more than 4.3 million customers and the most extensive network in the country - covering 65% of the geographical area, and 75% of the population.

Reports show that mobile penetration in Mozambique is mostly in cities, and currently sits at around 35%, while internet penetration is less than 5% with 0.1% having access to broadband. However, there is growing demand for high-speed broadband beyond urban areas.

mcel recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique's Science and Technology Ministry, to roll out community multimedia centres in rural areas. Based on this understanding, mcel will provide internet access to six Mozambican districts.

mcel CEO Mamudo Ibraimo says: "As Mozambique's premier operator, we view our services as an enabler of socioeconomic development and long-term prosperity. We continue to drive the growth and evolution of mobile telephony here through continued expansion, value-oriented innovation and a focus on the delivery of an excellent customer experience."

Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says: "mcel's new network will cater to the exceptional traffic growth they expect in the near future. With improved network signalling and transmission capacity, we are committed to ensuring the quality of service mcel delivers to its subscribers."

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