Omnitele says that it has been contracted by operator Unitel to provide support services for the network expansion projects in Angola. Unitel has operated a GSM network in Angola since early 2001. Since the introduction of GSM services Unitel's subscriber base has been in rapid growth and today Unitel has more than one million subscribers. Due to strong demand for basic services and in order to enable mobile data services, Unitel is starting an important upgrade of the network functionality and capacity to serve up to 3 million subscribers.

The network expansion project includes deployment of various next generation MSC-servers in Luanda and Media Gateways in each of the 15 provinces of Angola. At the same time EDGE will be deployed in the whole network in order to enable enhanced data services. In parallel with the core network capacity and functionality upgrade, a roll-out of approximately 700 base stations will take place to increase the radio network capacity and coverage.

Omnitele's services during the project consist of supervision of quality of network planning, different acceptance processes, project management support and technical support.

"This support agreement extends our cooperation to new areas. Previously Omnitele has been engaged in network quality audits, process development, network improvements and technology selection to name a few. The project schedule, the new technologies introduced in the network and the mere size of the radio network roll-out in sometimes difficult conditions is a great challenge to all parties involved in the project. Based on our experience of Omnitele's performance in the previous assignments, we are confident that Unitel will benefit greatly from Omnitele's vast expertise in this demanding network expansion project" - Mr. Nicolau Netto, CEO, Unitel.

The Mobile World notes that Angola has two active networks. They report that Unitel actually ended last year with just under 1.2 million customers while the CDMA operator, Movicel Telecomunica?s (a subsidiary of Angola Telecom) ended Q3 2005 a little short of 400,000 subscribers.

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