Vodafone has chosen Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch to expand its network in Fiji. Ericsson will also introduce the first 3G network to the Pacific Ocean nation with a WCDMA upgrade.
Under the five-year agreement, Ericsson will also provide managed services. Vodafone will invest USD 15 million to modernize its core network and introduce a new 3G-radio network, including mobile softswitch.
The contract also includes turnkey project management and business consulting. Network management and support services will be provided by Ericsson's operations center in Australia, and include local services capabilities in Fiji to support network operations and effect local knowledge transfer. The business consulting services will be focused on supporting Vodafone's 3G services launch.
Ericsson's mobile softswitch is the first step towards an all-IP network and will upgrade Vodafone's network in the most cost-efficient way. In combination with 3G/WCDMA, Vodafone Fiji will be able to launch next-generation services that will be a huge bonus for both Fijians and the many tourists who visit the islands every year.
Aslam Khan, CEO of Vodafone, Fiji, says that while Vodafone Fiji is spending USD 15 million with Ericsson, they will also invest further over the next five years in upgrading its network to create a world-class experience for its customers and potential investors to Fiji. This would include the introduction of new services and extended coverage throughout Fiji.
Ericsson will deploy 3G/WCDMA coverage from mid-2006. According to Vodafone Fiji, about 500,000 tourists visited Fiji last year. Of these, 80 percent brought their mobile phone, with 90 percent of these roaming onto Vodafone Fiji's current network.