Etisalat first in Egypt with Ericsson indoor coverage kit

Ericsson said Etisalat is the first operator in Egypt to deploy the infrastructure company's Radio Dot indoor network equipment, as the operator moves to meet growing data usage in the country.

Etisalat deployed the Ericsson system to improve indoor coverage throughout its network. The Sweden-based vendor said the system can be deployed quickly, and can be linked with existing macro networks to offer voice over LTE (VoLTE), HD voice and mobile broadband services.

Isil Ozturk Yalcin, head of Ericsson Customer Unit North East Africa, said Radio Dot gives Etisalat the "state-of-the-art technology" that is vital to provide the customer experience necessary "to succeed in competitive markets, such as Egypt."

Etisalat CTO Khalid Murshed said the Ericsson kit will enable the company "to offer our customers a better user experience" by ensuring subscribers "enjoy the best possible indoor mobile connectivity."

Egypt was Etisalat's third major market in terms of revenues in the nine months to end-September 2014--the most up-to-date earnings figures released by the UAE-headquartered operator. The Egyptian unit increased revenues from AED3.4 billion (€849 million/$925 million) in the first nine months of 2013 to AED3.5 billion in the same period of 2014.

Etisalat and rival Egyptian mobile operators Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil are still awaiting the issue of unified licences that will enable them to begin offering fixed-line services using former incumbent Telecom Egypt's infrastructure.

The issue of the licences has been delayed several times. In February, Reuters reported they would be issued "within weeks".

Ericsson describes Radio Dot as the "industry's most cost-effective and modular high performance indoor radio system." The antenna--or 'dot' element--weighs 300 grams, and was designed to address coverage requirements in offices and public venues including medium-to-large buildings.

The company said the range of buildings covered by Radio Dot is a key element of differentiation to similar products by rival infrastructure vendors.

For more:
- see this Ericsson announcement
- view the company's Radio Dot explanation
- read Etisalat's recent earnings statement [PDF]
- see this Reuters article

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