" ITREALMS: Celtel boosts southeast with MSS


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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Celtel boosts southeast with MSS

Pan African mobile operator, Celtel International through its subsidiary, Celtel Nigeria, has given a boost to the South-Eastern states operations with the commissioning of its Mobile Soft Switch (MSS) in Ugwuaji-Enugu, Enugu State, last Thursday.

This, the operator said, would improve the network coverage based on the dynamic role the Mobile Soft Switch worth over $6 million (about N700,710,000) is expected to play, which is critical in service delivery within the areas on coverage.

Mobile Soft Switch solution, according to experts is a Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) based on the Release Four (R4) standards of the soft-switch architecture for the mobile circuit core network functions.

Experts also cited for instance, that Mobile Soft Switch solution from Celtel, is capable of carrying large and growing volumes of voice and data traffic in a state-of-the-art, cost optimized 3GPP R4 compliant network architecture.

Equally, the MSS solution would enable Celtel to upgrade its network stepwise to a layered architecture, the first step towards an all-Internet Protocol (IP) network as well as its upgrade to be combined with the introduction of a common Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) core.

Speaking at the event, commissioned by the executive governor of Enugu State, Chief Sullivan Chime, the Chief Operating Officer, Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Lars Stork said the commissioning of the Enugu switch center marks another milestone in the history of telecommunication evolution in Nigeria.

He noted that the telco has already commissioned three other switches in Abuja, Kaduna and Kano.

Mr. Lars further said that Celtel would soon launch switches in Bauchi and Benin, with several more to come as it plans to take its nationwide total of switches to over 35.

He said the telco was not unconcerned about the quality of service customers have to face, disclosing that in the past six months Celtel has committed significant resources and effort in improving its quality of service through capacity expansion and enhancing the integrity and robustness of its network.

“In order to sustain the integrity of our network and meet our customers’ expectations, we are currently leasing nationwide fibre-optic capacity across the country pending the completion of our own infrastructure. At the same time, we are expanding our existing 3,000 km microwave transmission backbone to 5,000 km,” Stork said, adding that the fibre that connects Port Harcourt, Enugu, Asaba, Lagos and Abuja is now almost completed.

ITRealms Online recalls that Celtel Nigeria hitherto known as Vmobile Nigeria, was established in 2000, by a group of institutions and private investors and made history on August 5, 2001 by reportedly becoming the first telecoms operator to launch commercial GSM services in the country.

In May, 2006, Zain Group through its subsidiary Celtel International acquired majority stake in the company and re-branded the company to Celtel in September.
Currently, Celtel Nigeria is now an important part of Celtel’s pan-African operations spanning 15 countries and serving more than 24 million customers.

According to the telco, its major concern now is to aggressively network various parts of the country into its fold while offering quality and customer service upgrade in the quest to realize its vision of ‘Making life better.’

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