Ericsson has signed a contract with the Zain Group to expand the core network and the GSM radio access network for Zain Madagascar.

The expansion of Zain Madagascar's network, which has been operational since 2005, is centered upon deploying Ericsson's Packet Core Network, including
both SGSN and GGSN nodes, and Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution. Rollout of the first phase of the project has already begun.
Jan Embro, head of sub-Saharan Africa at Ericsson, says: "With this network expansion, Zain Madagascar will be able to meet subscriber growth and increased demand for its mobile services. In addition, Zain Madagascar will also reduce its core network operating expenses through improved network capacity, performance and operational efficiency."
This first step towards an efficient and converged all-IP core network based on Ericsson solutions will employ a layered architecture that allows Zain to use its existing infrastructure and ensure a common foundation for new consumer services. The new architecture will also allow Zain Madagascar to reduce the number and size of its main core network sites.
Ericsson will also provide a range of associated professional services including systems integration, network deployment, field maintenance, and support services in order to ensure successful delivery of the expanded network.