Nokia and SMART Communications, Inc. (SMART) have signed a contract worth approximately USD 117 million for Nokia to supply GSM/EDGE and
next-generation equipment for Smart's network rollout in the Philippines
Smart's network rollout is aimed at increasing GSM network capacity to meet increasing demand in rural areas, in addition to enhancing
innovative multimedia services over high quality EDGE network.
"We want to service our increasing subscriber base more efficiently and more innovatively. These investments will address our objectives
on capacity expansion, preparation for future platforms, introduction of life-enhancing technologies, as well as continuous service quality improvements," said Ramon S. Fernandez, SMART's head for administration and materials management division.
"The enhancements of SMART's network will enable us to offer more powerful and user-friendly wireless services to our subscribers. This
will also help us expand our network to more remote areas and to foray into new technologies," said Rolando Pena, SMART's head for network services division.
"Smart is a very aggressive company that is always on the look-out to deliver new services to their customers. This contract is designed to accelerate packet data based services - expect a lot of excitement to come for Smart customers, " says Markku Nieminen, Account Director for Smart, Nokia Networks.
Nokia has been working with Smart since 1998, providing comprehensive services for the operator's GSM/GPRS/EDGE infrastructure over this
In addition to increasing capacity and expansion issues, the agreement also covers solutions that will future-proof Smart's core network by using new technology efficiently.
The agreement also covers trial networks of new service-enabling solutions like Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC), Presence, and the IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS).
In 2003, SMART and Nokia worked together in introducing the ConnectSite solution that has significantly improved rollout time frames and lowered installation costs for base stations, allowing SMART to provide telecommunication services in remote areas.