Zain and Ericsson partner to extend network coverage

Initiative to drive up safety in three African states

July 28, 2009

Initiative to drive up safety in three African states

Pan-Africa mobile operator Zain, and Ericsson, in an initiative coordinated by the GSM Association are extending the mobile network coverage of the three East African States and launching a safety and security initiative.

Ericsson, Zain and the GSMA have worked together to improve safety and security through enhanced mobile coverage. Thanks to the project, the Lake Victoria region now has an additional 21 energy-efficient sites, with three of them solar powered, and a Rescue Coordination Centre has been established.  Local stakeholders supporting the project include the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) and its local representative the National Lake Rescue Institute (NLRI).

“Mobile communications play an important role in helping communities to develop sustainably,” said Lars Lindén, President Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa. “Building out the mobile networks in this region is a key business interest for Ericsson, but it will also play a vital role in delivering increased safety and security, as well as improved economic viability and livelihoods.  Working in partnership has enabled us to achieve what no one of us could have done alone, and if we can reduce, by even one death, of the more than 5000 each year, it will be worth the investment.”

“As the East African community gets connected to undersea cables for the first time, the communities of Lake Victoria can now access a mobile safety net,” said Gabriel Solomon, Senior Vice President GSM Association. “It is now incumbent upon the governments of East Africa to leverage this network by partnering with the private sector and delivering a rainbow of new services.”

The new network will provide crucial information to enable a vast number of vital services, such as search and rescue, fleet movement and tracking. Ericsson’s Mobile Position System will enable emergency authorities to locate the mobile signal of those in distress on the Lake and send the details to the Rescue Coordination Centre, which will be operated by NLRI.

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