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Ericsson selected for major network expansion by Warid Telecom in Pakistan


September 12, 2006, Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Warid have signed a USD 274 million contract that will see Ericsson undertake a major evolution and expansion of Warid’s GSM network, including its Mobile Softswitch solution, radio, transmission and packet core network equipment, as well as multimedia services.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide capacity for an additional 10 million subscribers through its mobile softswitch solution and the expansion of the radio access network in existing and new cities.

The expansion of the network and the implementation of Ericsson’s leading Mobile Softswitch solution will enable Warid to cater for Pakistan’s increased capacity requirements, cover its growing customer requirements effectively and smoothly evolve to all-IP.

Bashir Tahir, Group CEO of Warid Telecom International, says that this has been a partnership in the true sense of the word; “With Ericsson taking care of the network deployment and maintenance, we have been able to focus on bringing high-quality mobile communications services to all Pakistanis and establishing our brand in the market. Ericsson is the key driver in the development and evolution of GSM technologies, as well as the global market leader in the deployment and integration of GSM networks.”

Bo-Erik Dahlström, President of Ericsson Middle East, says: “This contract is yet another example of Ericsson’s industry leadership and our ability to accelerate operator growth in high-growth markets. We are pleased to be an integral part of Warid’s success in one of the fastest growing GSM markets in the world.”

Deliveries will start immediately.

Ericsson is shaping the future of Mobile and Broadband Internet communications through its continuous technology leadership. Providing innovative solutions in more than 140 countries, Ericsson is helping to create the most powerful communication companies in the world.

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About Ericsson Softswitch solutions
Ericsson is the leading provider of softswitch solutions for both mobile and wireline networks. Ericsson’s solutions are commercially proven and fully standards-compliant, offering an efficient and low-risk evolution of existing circuit-switched networks to a telecom quality, IP-based service platform. They use network resources in the most cost-efficient way to provide both classic telephony and next-generation services. More than 70 fixed and mobile operators worldwide have commercially launched services based on Ericsson’s Softswitch solutions.

About Warid Telecom
Warid Telecom is owned by the Abu Dhabi Group, which is led by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. The Abu Dhabi Consortium has other successful investments in Pakistan, namely Bank Alfalah, United Bank Limited, Taavun & Wateen Telecom, and the new rollout of mobile networks in Bangladesh and Republic of Congo. The Abu Dhabi Group also has other international investments in the finance, hospitality, property, oil exploration and supplies, and automobile-related industries. Warid Telecom is the fastest growing Pakistan mobile company with in excess of 5 million subscribers.


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