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Friday, February 02, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent, Glo enters N78b network expansion pact

Telecommunications solution provider, Alcatel-Lucent and the Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom Limited, has entered into a network expansion deal worth over $600 million, about N78 billion.

Announcing this development in a joint press statement by the two companies, they said that the deal involves a series of network expansion projects.

It was also gathered that under the terms of the deal, Alcatel will deploy nationwide fixed and mobile networks as well as next generation IP/MPLS and optical network solutions.

This, the chief operating officer at Globacom, Mr. Mohammed Jameel, said, would expand Globacom’s national mobile network capacity from its current 12 million subscribers to 35 million by December 2007.

In addition, this covers the Alcatel-Lucent multi-standard Evolium radio access and core network solutions as well as transmission solutions.

According to the telcos, the project will boost network performance and support delivery of advanced multimedia, converged services such as triple play, a service that allows provisioning of high-speed Internet, television; video or regular broadcasts and telephony over a single broadband connection.

It would be recalled that Globacom was the first Nigerian operator to offer 2.5 high-speed network data transmission, mobile Internet, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) as well as Blackberry services.

Additionally, Alcatel-Lucent is expected to 292,000 multi-service access lines covering thirteen of the country’s major cities, even as the fixed network solution will facilitate Globacom’s ability to offer voice, high-speed internet access and broadband multimedia services such as video-on-demand, video conferencing and broadcast video to its customers.

Further, the deal affords Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a new DWDM optical transport network to boost Globacom capacity and extend the reach of its existing infrastructure, broadening its service offering to new areas.

“The optical network will cover 40 cities in Nigeria and will be the largest DWDM and IP/MPLS nationwide fibre backbone network to be rolled out in Africa,” the press statement indicated.

Hitherto, Globacom had invested over $3 billion on network expansion and with the new contract the telco brings its investment within the last three years to $4 billion, the biggest in the industry so far.
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