GTel Mobile, a joint venture between Russian mobile group Vimpelcom and Vietnamese state-owned vehicles Global Telecommunications Corporation (GTEL) and subsidiary GTEL TSC, has chosen French vendor Alcatel-Lucent to provide a turnkey GSM/EDGE network solution. The cellco plans to roll out the new network in north and central Vietnam, with a commercial launch scheduled for end-2009.
Alexey Blyumin, CEO of GTel Mobile, said: ‘As a newcomer in such a highly competitive market, we need to focus all our efforts on building a good quality network with strong customer relationships from day one of commercial launch. We look forward to tapping on Alcatel-Lucent’s worldwide expertise and experience in mobile network deployment.’ The vendor will also provide its microwave and optical transport equipment for enhancing interconnection among base stations and mobile traffic backhauling capabilities, as well as providing a complete set of services including design, planning, installation, commissioning, integration and optimisation.
GTel Mobile was licensed to use the 1800MHz band in February 2008 and received a GSM concession and associated frequencies in September of that year. In July 2008 Vimpelcom acquired a 40% stake in the venture for USD267 million, with GTEL and GTEL TSC holding the remaining 51% and 9% respectively. Over five years the Russian mobile group plans to invest USD1.8 billion in the cellco, and is aiming for 20 million customers by 2013, giving it a projected 15% to 20% share of the subscriber market.