Nokia expands MegaFon GSM/GPRS/EDGE network, gains US$415 million

Nokia has won a major GSM/GPRS/EDGE network expansion contract from leading Russian operator MegaFon that will see it deliver both radio and core equipment, thereby helping MegaFon deliver advanced mobile solutions to its subscriber base.

The value of the agreement is over US$415 million, and equipment deliveries have already begun.

"The Russian mobile communications market is no longer driven by price competition but instead by network quality. Mobile leadership will be taken by those who are now taking measures to create a solid foundation for maintaining high quality of services," in the opinion of Sergey Soldatenkov, CEO of OAO MegaFon.

Nokia will supply radio and core network equipment including its mobile soft-switching and IP Multimedia Subsystem Solution (IMS) for fixed and mobile. The frame agreement also includes Nokia's multi-vendor, multi-technology NetAct solution, which is aimed at providing operational efficiencies and OPEX savings for MegaFon?s network. The very same platform also provides support for future technologies like WCDMA 3G.

Nokia is also supplying a range of services including project management, installation and relocation services for the fast ramp-up of the network, care services, and software maintenance and training services to keep the network running at peak performance. The contract, an extension of an existing agreement signed by the companies in 2003 and valid for supplies in 2006-2007, covers North-Western and Central Russia as well as Northern Caucasus.

* OAO MegaFon is the first all-Russian mobile operator to GSM 900/1800 standard. The company was founded in May 2002 as a result of renaming and reorganising the Open Joint Stock Company North-West GSM and through integrating under one brand ZAO Sonic Duo (Moscow), ZAO Mobicom-Kavkaz, ZAO Mobicom-Centre, ZAO Mobicom-Novosibirsk, ZAO Mobicom-Khabarovsk, ZAO Mobicom-Kirov, OAO MSS-Povolzhie, ZAO Volzhsky GSM, and ZAO Uralsky GSM. Major stockholders are OAO Telecominvest, OOO CT-Mobile, Sonera (Finland) and Telia (Sweden).

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