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Siemens Expands Sotelma

Siemens has been commissioned by national operator Sotelma to expand the nationwide GSM network in Mali

June 3, 2005

2 Min Read

MUNICH -- Siemens has been commissioned by national operator Sotelma to expand the nationwide GSM network in Mali. As part of the project, Siemens added 65 new sites to the network in order to improve coverage in areas such as Bamako, Kati and Kayes and reach new markets like Timbuktu, Koulikoro or Sikasso. Training played a particularly important role in this project. A training program enabled Sotelma’s technicians and engineers to perform their own administration, maintenance work and spare parts management for the system. The contract has a total volume of almost 40 million Euros.

As part of the contract, Siemens replaced the current switch with a Siemens D900 MSC/VLR communication platform including a subscriber database (home location register). In addition to a new transmission backbone, the scope of delivery included an IN (intelligent network) platform which enables Sotelma to offer its customers prepaid services flexibly and efficiently.

“Mali’s mobile phone market has huge potential. By 2007, Sotelma plans to expand its subscriber base from now 2 percent to 8 percent of the population; that is then the equivalent of 800,000 people. While this is an ambitious target, the odds of reaching it are good,” said Christoph Caselitz, President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications.

Expanding the telecommunications network is one of the top priorities for Mali’s government. A 20-year plan was approved in 1992 and since 2002 a separate ministry has handled its implementation. In 1989 the government-owned Société de Télécommunications du Mali (Sotelma) was founded to develop fixed telephony. In 1999 Sotelma in turn set up Malitel, Mali’s first mobile network. However, the government’s aim is a free market environment, and a second operator was granted a license in 2002. To counter this competition and become market leader, Sotelma has been looking for a strong partner to expand its network—and found it in Siemens.

Siemens AG

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