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IBM Smarter Computing Helps Vietnam's Viettel Group Push 3G Mobile Services in Africa

Millions across Cameroon to benefit from high-speed data and voice services

HANOI, Vietnam and YAOUNDE, Cameroon, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that telecommunications operator Viettel Cameroon S.A.R.L. is using an IBM Smarter Computing solution to enable Cameroon's 3G infrastructure and provide high-speed mobile data and voice services.

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The new IT platform based on IBM System x servers, IBM Smarter Storage systems and IBM DB2 software will help provide advanced integrated mobile services to millions of new Cameroonian subscribers. Viettel Cameroon S.A.R.L is a joint venture between telecommunications companies Vietnam's Viettel Global and Bestinver Cameroon S.A.R.L. and this project will make it the largest telecommunications company in the country, with 6,000 employees and a network covering 81 percent of Cameroon.

"This agreement marks our significant commitment to Cameroon -- the second market in Africa we have invested in," says Phung Van Cuong, CIO of Viettel Group. "IBM's rich portfolio of smarter computing solutions is enabling us to provide next-generation wireless services at much lower cost."

According to Pyramid Research, in Cameroon mobile phones currently are used mostly for voice calls and less for advanced data applications, due largely to infrastructure limitations. However, the introduction of integrated 3G data services has the potential to attract up to six million new subscribers by 2017.

In Cameroon the population is around 20 million, while the mobile penetration rate is about 49 percent. Last year, the government of Cameroon granted a new license allowing Viettel Cameroon S.A.R.L to become the third mobile-phone operator to provide 2G and 3G services.

"The IBM Smarter Computing solution we are implementing will unleash new types of services in Cameroon," said Viettel's Phung Van Cuong. "Those include things such as making a video call while surfing the Internet, playing interactive games with friends  wherever they might be, chatting online, connecting to multimedia apps through tablet devices, or paying for utilities or parking."

Under the agreement, Viettel Cameroon will provide the IT infrastructure for these new mobile services with capacity of handling approximately ten terabytes of data, and to managing the company's billing and CRM systems.

The solution consists of IBM System x3850, x3650 and BladeCenter HS23 servers, IBM Storwize V7000 storage systems, operating with Linux OS and using IBM DB2 software. Viettel Cameroon is working with local business partner SVTech to install the system.

Viettel Group has been relying on IBM technology for more than ten years, since Viettel Group was established in 1999 in Vietnam. Beginning in early 2006, Viettel has rigorously invested in markets outside of Vietnam, including Cambodia, East Timor, Haiti, Laos,  Mozambique, Peru, and now, Cameroon.

IBM's innovative technologies have consistently supported Viettel's expansion efforts by helping its clients transform, grow and become more competitive, using a wide range of IBM's offerings, including Power and System x servers, Smarter Storage systems, and DB2 software. Having invested more than $400 million in Cameroon, Viettel Group aims to expand to another 10-15 countries to cover a market of one billion users by 2020, with an average revenue growth rate of 20 percent per year.

A photo is available at this link.

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