Ericsson has announced the signing of a 2G/3G network expansion contract with Azercell, Azerbaijan’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, which will result in increased coverage and better service quality for users. The contract includes network transformation of over 1,000 2G/3G base station sites covering the whole country, a project that is expected to be completed in one year. The Swedish vendor will deliver products from its RBS 6000 portfolio, multi-standard RAN, MINI-LINK microwave for increased backhaul capacity, as well as carrying out the associated core network expansions. ‘As Azerbaijan is becoming a regional hub for IT and telecom, we are keen to bring the latest technologies to the country and provide high quality services based on these technologies to our subscribers,’ said Chiril Gaburici, CEO of Azercell, adding: ‘The need to keep up with constantly changing consumer demands led us to make the largest yearly network investment we have made since we started operations in 1996. Our long-term partnership with Ericsson and the company’s strong expertise defined our choice of supplier for this project.’ Azercell had a mobile subscriber base of 4.371 million at the end of March 2013, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, while the operator’s wireless network covers 99.8% of the country’s population.