7th September 2009 - Portugal based Visabeira Global has confirmed plans to deploy a mobile network in Timor Leste (East Timor) on behalf of Timor Telecom. The contract is worth an estimated US$3.1 million. The MacauHub reported that the kit is being supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks, although an earlier contract was apparently signed with ZTE
"We are going to launch an operation in Timor with a concession contract for 18 mobile telecommunicatiosn base stations with wireless transmission," Paulo Varela, the chairman of Visabeira Global told Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The project is part of the expansion of Timor Telecom's GSM network, in various regions of Timor, namely Dili, Lauten, Viqueque, Manatutu and Manufahi.
Timor Telecom is the monopoly operator in the country, and the analysts at the Mobile World reports that the mobile operator ended Q1 '09 with 137,000 customers - representing a population penetration level of just 12%.
In 2007, the government discussed breaking the monopoly, which is not due to expire until 2017 - but nothing seems to have happened since then.