Alcatel has been awarded a new GSM mobile network expansion and modernization contract by Paktel Ltd., the Pakistani incumbent owned by Millicom International Cellular (MIC). The multi-million Euro contract will be executed over three phases covering the four provinces of the country, building a network with around 1,400 sites that will provide EDGE capability and will be implemented by the third quarter of 2006.

Under the terms of this contract, the company will supply its Evolium GSM/GPRS end-to-end solutions including Base Station Sub-systems (BSS), a new microwave system expansion to carry high capacity traffic as well as the installation of Base Transceiver Station (BTS) sites in parallel with operation and maintenance support services.

Olivier Picard, president of Alcatel Area4, responsible for its telecom operations in France, Africa, Middle East, the Indian Sub-continent, Turkey and Central Asia, said, "The Pakistani market is certainly today the fastest growing market for mobile infrastructure in South Asia and one of the most important worldwide given the size of the population and its growth rate. Our relation with MIC, the parent company of Paktel Ltd. is greatly and tangibly strengthened by the signature of this contract."