Mobistar, Belgium's second-largest mobile operator, revealed plans to replace its entire Nortel Networks-supplied cellular network with new LTE-ready equipment from Huawei.
The company, which is majority-owned by France Telecom Orange, said the new network upgrade would be completed by 2013 at a cost of €36 million. The contract with Huawei calls for nearly 500 cellular masts to be replaced this year, with the remaining network upgrade to be phased through next year before completion by early 2013.
Mobistar said that the Nortel equipment had reached the end of its effective life, and the new Huawei base stations would cut the company's carbon-dioxide by around 50 per cent. The firm also claims that the new 3G equipment will double its in-building penetration capabilities.
Separately, Mobistar and Belgium's leading operator, Proximus, have been rated along with O2 Germany as being the most expensive in Europe for purchasing smartphone with mobile Internet plans. Research conducted by TelecomPaper says that the average total cost (including the smartphone and excluding VAT) ranged from €649 in Sweden to €945 in the Netherlands to €1,332 in Belgium.
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