Airtel beefs up African networks

Michael Carroll
21 Nov 2012

Ericsson has completed a major upgrade for Bharti Airtel in Africa that the carrier claims is the largest of its kind on the continent.

The equipment vendor has upgraded and expanded all elements of Airtel Africa’s networks in 16 African countries. The job covers switching, radio, network management, data, charging and consumer services platforms and systems.

Airtel states the upgrade leaves it with a more robust infrastructure, boosting its ability to deliver high-quality services while keeping prices affordable. Crucially, though, the network upgrade has left the firm ready to launch next-generation services, which are still in their infancy in Africa.

Lars Lindén, head of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, says operators on the continent “are facing growing challenges in meeting the rapidly evolving demands of consumers.”

Eben Albertyn, chief technical officer of Airtel Africa, explains the ‘demand’ from his firm’s customers is for mobile data. The upgrade, he says, “allows us to provide Airtel subscribers with the best network possible.”

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