Airtel Nigeria, Ericsson pursue broadband opportunities in Africa

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In the second half of 2015, Nigeria was among the top five countries worldwide in terms of mobile subscription additions and Nigerian businesses are increasingly adopting mobile-first strategies.

In fact, 83 percent of mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria rely solely on their mobile device for their internet connectivity.

To address this growing demand and increase access to affordable mobile broadband Internet service, Airtel Nigeria and Ericsson are rolling out the award-winning Ericsson Radio System in sites across the country.

Ericsson Radio System’s multi-standard platform enables Airtel Nigeria to cost-effectively leverage the reach, maturity and increasing affordability of today’s 3G technology, while laying the foundation for their 4G and 5G evolution. The network-wide solution incorporates a broad range of products including: radio, baseband, small cells, backhaul, fronthaul, enclosures, power site equipment and the controller. These products are augmented through twice-yearly network software updates, and through Ericsson Global Services offerings.

“Mobile broadband access is really a prerequisite to achieving our key objective of enriching the lives and empowering the people of Nigeria to benefit both consumers and industry. Ericsson Radio System provides the performance and efficiency to support this objective while also ensuring a future-proof evolution as Nigeria continues to establish itself as a progressive and innovative ICT-driven country,” says Ahmed Mokhles, Airtel Nigeria Chief Commercial Officer.

By 2021, it is forecast that more than 90% of the world´s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks. Meanwhile, cost points for entry-level cellular devices reduced by 85% over the last ten years. This increasing device affordability addresses the major barrier to entry and is achieved through the global economies of scale enabled by cellular standards.

“Airtel Nigeria and their customers are directly benefitting from the performance and efficiency innovations designed in to the Ericsson Radio System – network-wise, its future-proof multi-standard platform ensures a smooth evolution, while its compact, modular design reduces operating costs enabling Airtel Nigeria to offer more affordable mobile broadband access today,” says Arun Bansal, Ericsson Head of Business Unit Radio.

“Ericsson Radio System has already won both the Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Infrastructure and the Red Dot Award for Product Design, but it is the recognition of our key customers like Airtel Nigeria that matters the most.”

Ericsson Radio System was launched at MWC 2015, and started shipping to customers in Q3 2015. Its innovative rail system enables the Ericsson Radio System to adapt to any site, with zero floor footprint and easy one-bolt installation while its modular, compact and energy efficient radios reduce both operating and capital expenses, delivering three times the capacity density with 50 percent improvement in energy efficiency. As operators, like Airtel Nigeria, strive to deliver the best possible performance and quality of experience in the most cost-efficient way, Ericsson Radio System’s multi-standard, multi-band, multi-layer architecture supports their requirements today and on the road to 5G.

Ericsson has also launched software and hardware innovations, including Intelligent Antenna Sharing, aimed at lowering the cost of mobile broadband access, and a Managed Rural Coverage services offering focused specifically on addressing the economic challenges of delivering mobile broadband access to rural areas.

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About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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