Serbian GSM operator Mobtel has contracted Ericsson to expand and upgrade its network as part of a plan to improve the country’s telecoms services and increase the penetration rate. Under the terms of the USD138 million deal, Ericsson will provide the cellco with hardware and software expansions to the core network, as well as for its radio and microwave transmission networks. It will also increase Mobtel’s GPRS rollout enabling media service offerings such as video streaming. Mobtel hopes the upgrade will attract new customers as well as promote a wider development of telecoms services in Serbia.
Mobtel competes against Telecom Serbia in the Serbian mobile market. It too is currently looking to expand and improve its GSM network. In February 2004 it contracted Alcatel to supply equipment for an UMTS field trial. At the end of 2003 there were 3.38 million mobile subscribers in the country, with Mobtel claiming 1.6 million customers, leaving Telecom with the remaining 1.78 million.