Alcatel to Build Networks in Kenya, Poland

SAN FRANCISCO (07/11/2000) - France's Alcatel SA said Tuesday it has been awarded contracts in Kenya and Poland that should lead to the availability of improved communications services in those countries.

In Kenya, the communications equipment maker was awarded a five-year contract to build a turnkey GSM (global system for mobile communications) network that will initially cover Nairobi and Mombasa, Alcatel said in a statement.

The contract was awarded by KenCell, a subsidiary of Vivendi Telecom International (Vivendi Group) and of Sameer Investment Ltd., a large private investment group in Kenya, Alcatel said. The expected value of the contract was not disclosed.

The first phase of the work, to provide a mobile network for two of Kenya's most important cities, will be carried out over the next few months. The network will feature a mobile switching center that supports up to 50,000 subscribers, as well as an operation and maintenance center and base stations.

The network is expected to provide mobile telephony services to more than 3.5 million people in total, or more than 10 percent of Kenya's population. Plans call for the network to be extended starting at the end of this year to increase the coverage area.

Separately, Alcatel also announced Tuesday that its Polish subsidiary, Alcatel Polska SA, has been awarded a contract worth 30 million Euros (US$28.6 million) to supply an SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) high-capacity backbone network linking more than 100 Polish cities. The contract was awarded by Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TP SA), the primary service provider in Poland.

The network is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2001, and will enable TP SA to expand its offerings in several areas including high-speed Internet access and voice and data transmission. TP SA will also be able to offer channels to other Polish network operators, Alcatel said.

Alcatel, in Paris, can be reached at +33-11-4076-1010 or on the Web at http://www.alcatel.com/.

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