The **Bahamas Telecommunications Company** (BTC) has announced that it has awarded Canadian company **Nortel** a GSM expansion contract that is expected to triple the capacity of the BTC wireless network.

A release from Nortel confirms that BTC will deploy Nortel wireless technology to extend the availability of next-generation, voice, data and multimedia services – improving the user experience for its wireless subscribers. Specifically, the GSM/GPRS network enhancements will help provide a better customer experience by delivering enhanced services such as high-speed wireless broadband, m-commerce, multimedia messaging, and the ability to download large e-mail attachments, videos, music and games. It will allow the operator to extend its wireless network service from Abaco and Bimini – to include all the family islands of The Bahamas
by the end of September 2006.

With this investment, BTC will also extend enhanced roaming capabilities, further accommodating international visitors. *”This solution will help put BTC at the forefront of next-generation mobile communications in the Caribbean market, supporting new services for end-users via fixed mobile convergence and IMS technology,”*said Alvio Barrios, Regional Sales Vice President, Nortel Caribbean and Latin America.

The GSM/GPRS solution from Nortel will enable BTC to achieve operational efficiencies through reduced network complexity and operating expenses as well as the ability to introduce new services quickly. This solution will also provide a foundation for evolution to advanced 3G capabilities to meet market demand, since the network configuration will be a GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSDPA capable network.

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company has been a regulator and provider of telecommunications services in The Bahamas for more than 100 years. Today, the company offers modern, fully digital switching networks which provide high-speed communications services to residential and business consumers throughout the Bahamas. These services are transmitted via fiber optics, copper, coaxial, satellite and wireless media.

BTC had announced earlier that it will begin charging less for long distance calls as of next month. *”We’ve signed off on all the necessary license modification details,”* said Felicity Johnson, BTC’s Vice President of Legal, Regulatory and Interconnection Affairs.