Alcatel and Orascom Telecom announced today the launch of the first commercial GSM network in the Central region of Iraq including Baghdad. The contract is part of the Global Frame Agreement signed between Orascom Telecom and Alcatel, further enhancing their ongoing relationship in the Middle East and Africa.
In the frame of the contract signed in September 2003 with Orascom Telecom, Alcatel is one of the major suppliers of this new network. The first phase of the network installation started in October 2003. On November 25, 2003, Alcatel succeeded in making the first phone call on the new network. Orascom Telecom is hoping to reach 1 million subscribers in the first two years.
The new network based on Alcatel's industry leading Evolium solution, comprises a core Network Sub-System (NSS), including a Mobile Switching Center (MSC) as well as an Intelligent Network platform for value-added services and revenue-generating applications such as Voice Mail Service (VMS) and a Short Message Service Center (SMS-C). Alcatel is responsible for installation and commissioning of the network in addition to supporting the network operations.
As an industry-leading solution, the Alcatel Evolium family supports GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS technologies that can integrate future 3G mobile data applications.
Naguib Sawiris, Chairman of the Board of Orascom Telecom said, "Alcatel has proven to be a very flexible and supportive partner of Orascom Telecom. With the full support of Alcatel we have been able to meet this new challenge and provide enhanced GSM services to the Iraqi people in a record time."
"This new contract reflects a significant milestone in our partnership with Orascom Telecom", said Marc Rouanne, Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel's mobile communications activities. "Taking advantage of our deep knowledge of the Iraqi telecommunications industry, we are convinced that this cutting-edge network will contribute to help Iraqis accelerate the reconstruction of their country."