To quickly bring broadband LTE (News - Alert) services to Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa, Smile Telecoms has extended its existing partnership agreement with telecom equipment supplier Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert). Hence, as part of a planned five-year partnership to bring true fixed and mobile broadband services to Africa, Alcatel-Lucent will provide a comprehensive design as well as build and operate services for Smile’s nationwide LTE networks.
In fact, earlier this year, Smile Telecoms was the first network and services operator to deploy a true commercial 800 MHz LTE network in Africa, with installed networks in Tanzania and Uganda, according to IT News Africa.
In a statement, Daniel Jaeger, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent Activities in Africa said, “We’ve tested the technology, we’ve tested the business model, we’ve tested market demand and consumer experience, we’ve tested our partnership, and we’ve tested our commercial deployment strategy. Based on our results, the time has come to stop testing and start doing. Smile will be in a position to roll out nationwide coverage of full 800 MHz LTE services in all three of our markets within three years.”
The report indicates that the partners are aiming to launch full geographic and service coverage in Dar Es Salaam and Kampala before the end of first quarter 2013, with near-national coverage in both markets in 2014.
Further commenting on this development, Jaeger said that speed, quality and reliability of these services will allow customers to experience the full benefits of LTE, including real-time video streaming without buffering, video calls and a reliable platform for health, commerce and education services.
IT News Africa’s Online Editor, Chris Tredger thinks that this reveal sheds light on Smile’s strategic vision, which is to provide affordable, high-quality and easy-to-use broadband access and communication services to everyone across Africa. The editor believes that Smile will accomplish the task by combining its innovative business model with the latest technologies, as well as working with industry-leading partners such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson (News - Alert).
Edited by Jamie Epstein