Ericsson snaps up two more LTE network deals

The race to grab as many LTE network contracts as possible is on, and Ericsson is the latest European equipment manufacturer to announce deals with operators, this time both in the Middle East.

The first deal, with internet and communications provider Tishknet of Iraq, is a TD-LTE network, and is also the first TD-LTE network in the country. The services will be launched in the northeastern Kurdistan region, providing high-speed internet connections to customers.

Ericsson added that Tishknet is a new customer and both companies will work together to establish a long-term plan for LTE across Iraq. Under the terms of the deal, Ericsson will supply its RBS 6000 family of base stations as well as its Evolved Packet Core network, with Evolved Packet Gateway on the SSR 8000 family of Smart Services Routers.

Meanwhile, existing customer Batelco also chose Ericsson as the sole supplier for its LTE and WCDMA expansion plans in Bahrain. The network will be expanded to cover new areas in the country, and upgraded to provide faster mobile broadband connections for subscribers. Batelco will be able to offer enhanced cloud and multimedia services to a larger part of the population, Ericsson said.

Ericsson will install LTE base stations in the new areas and upgrade the Evolved Packet Core network. Ericsson said it will also allow Batelco to support LTE roaming via its Diameter Signaling Controller.

Bahrain's telecoms industry regulator separately awarded spectrum for next-generation mobile networks to the kingdom's three mobile operators after scrapping an auction that could have allowed new entrants to the crowded communications sector, Reuters reported. The other two operators are Zain and Viva, owned by Saudi Telecom Co. Viva has received six lots of spectrum, Batelco four and Zain two, although prices were not revealed.

For more:
- see this Ericsson release
- see this second Ericsson release
- see this Reuters article

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