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Econet Awards Motorola GSM Contract in Nigeria
Posted: 23-Jul-2002 [Source: Motorola press release]

[Econet launched first GSM network in Nigeria last summer and has awarded Motorola a US $98 million expansion contraact.]

Abuja, Nigeria -- Motorola's Global Telecom Solutions Sector (GTSS) has been awarded an expansion contract worth an estimated $98 million from Econet Wireless Nigeria Ltd. to upgrade its nationwide Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications network. Launched just last summer, the network already has attracted 450,000 subscribers. Installation of the network upgrade, that includes Motorola's Horizon series base stations, is scheduled to begin in August 2002. When the turnkey solution upgrade is completed, the system will have a capacity of up to 1 million subscribers.

Econet, with the help of Motorola, has helped dramatically change the telecommunications landscape in Nigeria by providing an attractive alternative - wireless service.

"Demand for our cellular service has been very strong since August 2001 when we were the first operator to begin GSM service in Nigeria," said Zachary Wazara, chief executive officer for Econet Wireless Nigeria Ltd. "Working with Motorola will enable us to increase capacity, expand our coverage area and continue to meet the needs of our customers to stay connected with family, friends, and business associates."

"The explosive growth of cellular service in Nigeria is revolutionizing communications and economic development in that country. We're looking forward to providing Econet with a Motorola solution that can help them satisfy their customers and increase revenue as they provide the latest in telecommunications technology in that market," said Jeff Cherif, general manager for the Middle East and Africa regions for GTSS. "Together with our customer, we are making lives simpler for the more than 125 million people in Nigeria by providing wireless telecommunications."

This is Motorola's second contract with Econet. Last year Motorola successfully bid for a contract worth an estimated $57 million to provide the initial GSM network for Econet in the populous northern region of Nigeria where it first launched commercial service. Motorola currently is completing the phase one implementation of that system.

The telecommunications market in Africa is advancing rapidly as privatization efforts continue and operators like Econet make the necessary infrastructure investments to bring mobile telecommunications technology to their customers. This contract strengthens Motorola's position as a leading supplier of cellular infrastructure equipment to the fast-growing Middle East and Africa regions. Motorola now supplies complete network solutions for GSM, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks for more than 30 customers in 29 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

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