11/24/2004 - Celtel, one of the top mobile operators in Africa, has deployed AccessGateTM from NMS Communications (NASDAQ: NMSS) to expand its network and increase its coverage in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With the help of NMS' radio access network optimizer, Celtel is growing its GSM network using satellite links and realizing substantial reductions in operating expense. At the same time, Celtel is able to bring the power of mobile communications to tens of thousands who would otherwise have had to wait for service. AccessGate optimizes wireless networks, freeing up bandwidth and making it possible for mobile operators like Celtel to provide service to more subscribers, faster and more efficiently, without increasing operating expense.
"With the overall mobile subscriber growth rate in our markets topping 50%, to maintain a leadership in the region, Celtel needs to be able to grow its GSM network rapidly and cost effectively," said Thomas Jonell, Chief Technology Officer, Celtel. "NMS offered us the ideal solution, supporting the Ericsson equipment in our network, our satellite transmission media, and the broad range of traffic we handle. Deployment was rapid and we saw the promised bandwidth savings almost immediately."
"In emerging markets such as those in Africa, there's a particular need to use microwave and even satellite connectivity. Satellite E1s are extremely expensive, so it's highly desirable to optimize or minimize that particular cost," said Keith Mallinson, EVP Research, Wireless & Mobile Communications, The Yankee Group. "In these markets, the goal is to drive penetration to the masses, and with the resulting low ARPUs, it is particularly important to minimize operational expenses if carriers in those markets are to be profitable."
With operations in 13 countries in Africa, Celtel's high double-digit growth rate shows no signs of slowing, so expanding capacity was essential. Celtel needed a highly reliable solution that would work with its existing infrastructure and allow it to grow without increasing operating expenses. NMS' AccessGate was a perfect fit.
AccessGate, which is already proving its reliability in the networks of some major European mobile operators, has been integrated into Ericsson's Expander offerings (see press release) and supports the Ericsson BSS deployed throughout Celtel's network. With minimal footprint at the cell site, AccessGate supports all types of traffic and important features, including Half Rate, Full Rate, and Circuit-Switched Data. And in a satellite environment, AccessGate reduces the amplification power needed, an important consideration in rural areas.
For more information about wireless backhaul optimization, please see the online archive of "Backhaul Management - An OpEx Reduction Opportunity," a web seminar presented by The Yankee Group and NMS Communications on October 6, 2004. This web seminar focuses on backhaul management and the unique challenges and opportunities in this emerging area of network infrastructure. Keith Mallinson of Yankee Group leads a discussion with Thomas Jonell of Celtel DRC, Martin Bäckström of Ericsson, and Brough Turner from NMS.
About Celtel Celtel is an African success story, beginning mobile phone operations in 1998, and since then has built networks in 13 African countries, under licenses that cover more than a third of the population of Africa. Commercially, we have a strong record of investment and growth. Culturally, we operate to the highest standards of professional and corporate ethics. Celtel has invested more than $750 million in Africa. Our goal is to build and operate world-class networks that will keep pace technologically with networks in Europe and North America. For more information, visit http://www.celtel.com/en.
About NMS Communications
NMS Communications (NASDAQ: NMSS) is a leading provider of technologies and solutions for mobile applications and infrastructure. NMS develops products that enable new mobile voice, data and video applications and improve the performance and quality of wireless networks, helping our customers grow their revenues and profits. Visit www.nmscommunications.com for more information.
NMS Communications and AccessGate are trademarks of NMS Communications Corporation.
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