Mtel, the cellular arm of incumbent wireline provider NITEL, has announced that its network is soon to be expanded from the current 1.2 million line capacity to six million ‘in the years to come’. The work is to be carried out under a ‘multi-vendor approach’. According to its Deputy General Manager, Abdul-Hamid Umar, suppliers Ericsson, Motorola, Huawei Technologies and ZTE have all been engaged to complete the restoration and rehabilitation of the infrastructure. Mtel launched GSM services in 2001, and by the end of 2005 had achieved a subscriber base of close to 1.2 million, with the network running more or less at full capacity. However, since then poor network performance has seen customers migrate to other operators in their thousands. At its nadir early this year, Mtel’s user base dropped to 100,000, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, before bouncing back to around 150,000 by the end of June 2007.