Kenya’s largest mobile operator, Safaricom, has signed a multi-year agreement with Ericsson to support the upgrade and expansion of its converged mobile network infrastructure.
Under the terms of this agreement, Ericsson will deploy WiFi technology for the first time on the Safaricom network as well as expand and enhance the MINI-LINK microwave transmission network; enabling subscribers enjoy a richer quality of mobile broadband in Kenya.
Deployment of the WiFi solution will enable Safaricom to optimize its use of spectrum resources while enhancing 3G services, and boosting broadband app coverage for customers in selected densely populated areas. Ericsson’s MINI-LINK microwave products and IP portfolio will enable Safaricom to seamlessly migrate to an all-IP transmission network that supports coming technologies and Safaricom’s five-year network evolution strategy. The Ericsson SSR 8000 family also provides Safaricom with a highly scalable, consolidated platform for both fixed and mobile services for IP/MPLS routing.
Thibaud Rerolle, director, Technology, Safaricom, says: As we move into an era where the customer experience is re-defining 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 CBD, in the most cost-efficient manner.
Ericsson’s microwave transmission includes MINI-LINK TN, LH and PT, which support capacity growth and the use of new frequency bands such as V and E bands. It transports voice and data traffic from the radio access to the core network, enhancing the capacity of the mobile transmission network to cope with increased traffic in the radio network.
The WiFi solution, comprised of Ericsson WiFi Access Points and Ericsson WiFi Manager (Ericsson’s WiFi Network Management software solution), will complement the data services provided by the existing 3G network and ease the load on the 3G resources through traffic offload to WiFi in selected areas. In addition, the Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) based on SSR 8010 is deployed by the service provider as the first aggregation point in the Carrier Grade WiFi network.
Robert Rudin, country manager, Ericsson Kenya, says: “We are proud to support Safaricom in their continuous bid to stay ahead of the market, ensuring the best services for their customers. Our leading mobile broadband, WiFi and IP solutions will enable Safaricom enhance their mobile broadband services cost-effectively and quickly.”