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Alcatel wins Algerian contract

French telco Alcatel has won a conract from Orascom to construct Algeria's third mobile telephone network in a deal worth more than $380 million.

Orascom has handed the multi-million contract to construct Algeria’s third mobile telephone network to French telecom specialists Alcatel.

The deal, worth over $380 million, will see Alcatel delivering a “significant portion” of the new GSM network which Orascom won the right to build and operate in July this year. It forms is the first execution of the Global Frame agreement signed by the two companies which will see them working together on installing and upgrading mobile systems throughout the region.

“Entering Algeria represents for us a significant breakthrough in our deployment in Africa and the Middle East, further enhancing our portfolio of assets and our leadership position in this area,” said Naguib Sawiris, chairman of the board at Orascom.

“By placing out trust in Alcatel, who played a key role in our success in winning this license, Orascom Telecom confirms its commitment to providing out international customers with leading-edge solutions.”

The first phase of the Algerian installation will take place next month, and will eventually form the highest-capacity network in the country. Up to three million subscribers will be able to use the system when complete.

Cairo-based Orascom won the license with a bid of $737 million, promising to deliver services by February 2002. Sawiris has been quoted as saying he expects to recruit 10 million subscribers by 2015, with $700 million being invested in the network over the next five years.

“We believe this cutting-edge network will empower Algerian consumers to embrace a whole new way of life and to truly become the mobile generation,” said Alcatel’s president of mobile networks, Michael Rahier. “Taking this step into Algeria is a major achievement for Alcatel since it is among the last major countries in Africa to grant a GSM license to a private operator.”

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