Ericsson lands Bangladesh network deal

Bangladesh's leading mobile phone company said on Tuesday it has awarded a 150 million dollar contract to Swedish equipment maker Ericsson to expand its network and services in the South Asian country.

Under the two-year deal, Ericsson would supply radio equipment and a comprehensive range of new services to GrameenPhone, the largest mobile phone operator in the country, a company statement said.

The network expansion and upgrade will enable GrameenPhone, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom company Telenor, to “significantly enhance network quality, performance and coverage,” it said.

“This is the year of quality for GrameenPhone and we have aggressive network expansion plans to continue providing the best quality network in the country,” said the chief executive officer of GrameenPhone, Erik Aas.

Ericsson, the world’s largest supplier of mobile telecommunication systems, will remain the sole supplier to the GrameenPhone GSM network for the duration of the contract, it said.

Ericsson last month announced that it had established a full-fledged company in Bangladesh in a bid to tap into the fast growing telecom market.

Bangladesh has been witnessing explosive growth in mobile telephony in the last couple of years with the number of subscribers leaping from 3.6 million in early 2005 to over nine million by the end of the year.

GrameenPhone, which last year hooked one million subscribers in a period of just 40 days, boasts over 60 percent of the country’s more than 10 million subscribers.