Reliance to roll out 3G in Nigeria

Nigerian operator Reliance Telecommunications (RelTel) has claimed to be nearing a limited launch of 3G services after striking a CDMA2000 supply contract with Swedish firm Ericsson.

  • E-Mail
By  Richard Agnew Published  April 2, 2003

Nigerian operator Reliance Telecommunications (RelTel) has claimed to be nearing a limited launch of 3G services after striking a CDMA2000 supply contract with Swedish firm Ericsson.

The $145 million contract, announced today, will see Ericsson providing a CDMA2000 solution to RelTel to allow mobile users to access high-speed data and internet services such as web browsing and e-mail.

The deal includes 1900 MHz compact Radio Base Stations, Base Station Controllers, a Packet Core Network, Mobile Switching Centers, Home Location Registers, applications, and training and network rollout services.

RelTel said the equipment would start to be deployed immediately with an expected commercial launch in the first half of this year.

But considering the limited number of wireless subscribers in the country, any launch is likely to be limited to locations where there is enough demand, according to an Ericsson spokesperson.

He said launching 3G “may not be quite as impossible a task as it seems. The number of subscribers at this is time is not huge. I would think (the launch) will be in a few of the major urban areas”. The deal does however cover eventual nationwide coverage.

Of the agreement, RelTel chairman Sir. A Okonkwo said: “As we continue to expand our network and bring advanced voice and data services to customers throughout Nigeria, it is important for us to partner with leading vendors like Ericsson.

"We believe their CDMA2000 solution and professional services will provide us with state-of-the-art technology and expertise that will allow us to quickly and cost-effectively deploy 3G services to our customers and meet on-demand capacity growth."

The operator is licensed by the Nigerian Communication Commission to provide telephony services in the country using CDMA technology.

With recent statistics from Pyramid Research showing that less than 2% of Nigeria’s population of 130 million people has access to fixed telephone lines, wireless networks have been seen as an economical alternative.

RelTel rival Multi-Links Telecommunications said last week that it is upgrading its network to CDMA2000 using equipment from Nortel.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code