Nokia Siemens Networks has been recognised for service and commitment to the African continent at this year’s CommsMEA Awards, receiving the African Vendor of the Year award.

The award was presented to Nokia Siemens Networks in a ceremony last night in Dubai, and was based on Nokia Siemens Networks’ achievements with Vodacom Tanzania, Zain Nigeria and Leo Namibia.
Vodacom Tanzania selected Nokia Siemens Networks to provide a 3G network that would provide both quality and exceptional service. Within a record speed of 10 days Nokia Siemens Networks had the 3G roll-out and implementation of the 22 base stations and 120 sites.
Adnan Kureshy, head of marketing & communication at Nokia Siemens Networks MEA, comments: “To be recognized for our achievements in a highly competitive market such as Africa is a privilege. Africa’s low mobile penetration rate and developing demand for mobile services makes it a priority region for our business and we will continue to dedicate the necessary support and commitment the region deserves as it continues to grow.”
Zain Nigeria chose Nokia Siemens Networks to build 4 000 km of fibre optic backbone infrastructure and supply microwave transmission equipment to deliver best-in-class IP technology to address the problem of network capacity struggling to keep pace with relentless customer demand.
Phase 1 of the project was completed four months ahead of schedule in February 2009 using Nokia Siemens Networks’ end-to-end Outside Plant turnkey solution. The resulting early roll-out is estimated to have saved Zain around $7-million in reduced fiber leasing costs.
In July 2009, Zain Nigeria extended its contract with Nokia Siemens Networks to Phase 2 of the project – an additional 600 km of the nationwide fiber backbone network. The operator’s customer base is now the fastest-growing in Nigeria.
“At Nokia Siemens Networks, we’d like to thank our business partners for their faith and confidence in our tailored services and solutions. We’d also like to congratulate Zain Bahrain on their award for Telecoms Technology Investment of the Year for their vision in being the first to introduce LTE technology in the region and for entrusting us with its implementation for them,” adds Kureshy.
As is the case with most developing countries, service providers in Namibia face the double challenge of increased competition and reduced Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). Leo Namibia  selected Nokia Siemens Networks in October 2009, to upgrade prepaid charging and mediation systems and expand 2G and 3G network to enable new services that enrich the customer experience. The 2G and 3G network coverage expansion will be undertaken using Nokia Siemens Networks’ award-winning Flexi Base Station, which will enable faster roll out and help Leo reduce its overall power consumption and operational costs.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as recently as 2006, Africa had under 22% mobile subscribers – a very low penetration rate with a high potential for growth.