As it reveals that it has racked up modernisation contracts with communications service providers (CSPs) in Cameroon, Tanzania and Congo to boost network performance and manage subscribers’ growing data demands, Ericsson believes that forward-thinking CSPs in Africa are already securing their role in a dynamic market thanks to advanced infrastructure technology.
The Swedish comms provider said that these latest deals and others reflect the rapid growth of mobile connectivity across the region, as consumer demand for enhanced mobile services continues to grow. Ericsson said that this not only shows that Africa is one of the fastest growing mobile markets, but it reiterates the need for a more efficient technology, higher data rates and availability of ample spectrum.
“Technology brings an unprecedented opportunity to address the challenges of sustainable economic development and improve the livelihood of people in Africa,” said Fadi Pharaon, president of Ericsson Middle East and Africa. “Mobile and fixed networks are key components of critical national infrastructure to sustain and evolve emerging economies during remote work times.”
In the latest deal, MTN Cameroon entered into a multi-year contract with Ericsson to modernise its existing mobile radio and core network, and support upgrades to LTE. The initial phase will see the modernisation of the radio network in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. Subsequently, Ericsson said that it will modernise the existing radio access network (RAN) infrastructure from 2G to 4G in other regions of Cameroon.
This contract follows Airtel in Tanzania and Congo selecting Ericsson to deploy cloud core technology solutions, based on Cloud Packet Core and network functions virtualisation infrastructure (NFVI), across their networks.
Airtel is deploying the solutions to address the consistent increase in data traffic, quickly introduce new services, simplify operations and maintain high performance network requirements.
Airtel Africa expanded its strategic partnership with Ericsson in October 2020 to enable 4G coverage in Kenya through RAN and packet core products for 4G. The network modernisation deal is in line with the Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030, which aims to provide ‘robust’ connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms.
In June 2020, Telma Madagascar switched on its Ericsson-enabled 5G commercial network to offer subscribers high-speed services enabled by the new generation of mobile connectivity. In the same month, MTN South Africa went live with commercial 5G in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.