Under a three-year network modernization deal, Ericsson is paving the way for leading Ukrainian operator Kyivstar to offer its 23.9 million subscribers mobile broadband services. Via the expansion and modernization of its GSM/EDGE network, Kyivstar's customers across 99.9 percent of the country will be able to access multimedia data services while Ukraine awaits the imminent release of 3G licenses.

The core network capacity is being expanded by using the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution, which also enables cost-efficient migration to an all-IP network. The deal also covers microwave transmission, network deployment, systems integration and support services, as well as competence development for staff.

Ericsson will boost capacity and coverage of the operator's radio access and core network, which serves more than half the nation's total subscriber base of 55.2 million. By increasing capacity by more than 30 percent Kyivstar will be able to manage the anticipated uptake of mobile data in the network.

Igor Lytovchenko, President of Kyivstar, said, "This network modernization furthers Kyivstar's strategy of maintaining its technology leadership, while preparing for the launch of mobile broadband services with the introduction of 3G in Ukraine."

Jan Campbell, President of Ericsson Eastern Europe and Central Asia, explained that the deal is an extension of Ericsson's established partnership with Kyivstar, which dates back to the nationwide rollout of its GSM network in 1996: "By using Ericsson's latest GSM/EDGE technologies, Kyivstar can deliver seamless services to its customers today and be well prepared for future needs."