Warid has announced that it is expanding its GSM network with the help of gear from Ericsson.
Ericsson has signed a US$274 million contract with Pakistan’s Warid Telecom that will see Ericsson undertake a major evolution and expansion of Warid’s GSM network, including its Mobile Softswitch solution, radio, transmission and packet core network equipment, as well as multimedia services.
Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide capacity for an additional 10 million subscribers through its mobile softswitch solution and the expansion of the radio access network in existing and new cities.
Warid and Wateen are two of the several company that the Abu Dhabi Group has opened up in the fast emerging telecom market of Pakistan. Wateen is the Transmission and Data Communication wing of the group while Warid was focused on cellular (GSM) operations. However, hallway-talks are pointing towards a brand merger of Warid and Wateen as the group is realizing the importance of branding as well as the fact that in the era of fast convergence, a single entity might serve the purpose best.
Wateen has already signed a contract with Motorola for the biggest wireless data network in Pakistan. Mobilink, the largest GSM operator in Pakistan with the SMP status, is also rumoured to be preparing for leap-frogging 3G and betting on Wimax deployment. The Wimax trials preparations are reported to have the roots in the Intel Capital‘s funding to Orascom Telecom, the parent company of Mobilink.