Pakistan’s leading cellular operator, Pak Telecom Mobile Ltd (PTML), has awarded a USD56 million contract to Nortel Networks to upgrade and expand its nationwide Ufone GSM-900 network. The deal will expand the capacity of PTML’s network to 1.3 million customers via the addition of new base stations and switching equipment. PTML is a wholly owned subsidiary of national fixed line operator PTCL which was established in 1998 but failed to launch a service until January 2001. It witnessed an initial surge in subscriber additions, adding 125,000 by the end of 2001. By the end of 2002 Ufone’s subscriber base had risen to 260,000, of which 195,000 were pre-paid users.