Ericsson upgrading mobile networks in Kenya

Partners with mobile operator Safaricom to enhance 3G services

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Networking equipment and services provider Ericsson has signed a multiyear deal with Safaricom, the largest mobile operator in Kenya, to expand and upgrade its telecommunications network.

The goal is to deploy Wi-Fi technology and enhance microwave transmission to provide customers with better 3G wireless connectivity.

The upgrades will target dense metro areas. The Wi-Fi deployment will allow Safaricom to optimize its use of spectrum assets and improved microwave backhaul will allow for a transition to an all-IP network.

According to Thibaud Rerolle, Safaricom’s director of technology, “As we move into an era where the customer experience is redefining our networks, this development will place us in an optimal position to continue to grow our data footprint, especially in heavily populated areas such as the [central business district]in the most cost-efficient manner.”

Safaricom is using Ericsson’s Mini Link microwave portfolio as well as the SSR 8000 group of products.

The Mini Link line allows for more capacity in new frequency bands to transport voice and data from the radio access into the core network.

Wi-Fi access points and Ericsson’s Wi-Fi Manager software suite will ease the load on the 3G network by providing Wi-Fi offload.

Ericsson’s Kenya Country Manager Robert Rudin said the partnership will allow Safaricom to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market.

“We are proud to support Safaricom in [its]continuous bid to stay ahead of the market, ensuring the best services for [its]customers. Our leading mobile broadband, Wi-Fi and IP solutions will enable Safaricom [to]enhance [its]mobile broadband services cost-effectively and quickly.”

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