Telecoms operator Batelco has selected Ericsson, the #1 telecom equipment vendor in the 4G space, as the sole supplier for its LTE and WCDMA expansion plans in Bahrain.
The network will be expanded to cover new areas in the country, and upgraded to provide faster mobile broadband connections for subscribers. Ericsson did not share the financial details of the 4G deal with Batelco.
Thanks to telecoms global activities in Europe, the U.S., Asia and the Middle East, Infonetics anticipates that 4G LTE subscribers could reach 608 million by 2017.
“Consumers will benefit from the upgraded mobile broadband network and have access to the internet at speeds of up to 150 megabits per second. We are confident that with Ericsson’s innovative technology, we will provide the best user experience for our subscribers,” said Rashid Abdulla, chief executive officer, Batelco.
Ericsson will install LTE base stations in the new areas and upgrade the Evolved Packet Core network. Support for LTE roaming is also introduced by means of the new Ericsson Diameter Signaling Controller, which helps operators manage roaming relations while improving service reliability and network security.
“Batelco continues to expand their network for exponential data growth, and we have once again been trusted to help them deliver a superior mobile-broadband experience to their subscribers,” said Anders Lindblad, president of Ericsson Region Middle East.
In Bahrain, the operator earlier said it would focus on retention of high value customers including data business growth.
The cost leadership program targets up to BD20 million savings post-2014. The group would also pursue further growth via acquisition of established operators.
Batelco’s Ebitda and profits are expected to remain under competitive pressure in key operational markets.
Revenue is likely to see mid-single digit decline in 2013. The capital expenditure to revenue ratio is seen at approximately 14 percent, with free cash flow of more than $80 million.