Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Airtel Delivers Comprehensive Network Upgrade

As part it's strategic plans to offer quality service to its subscribers, third leading telecommunications services provider in Nigeria, Bharti Airtel has undertaken an end-to-end network transformation program across its mobile operations.

The transformation plan, Airtel said is the largest of its kind on the African continent, in partnership with Ericsson, involved a comprehensive upgrade and expansion of network elements on all of Airtel's African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems.

Under this progarmme, Ericsson has deployed wireless technologies, will enhance Airtel's network capacity and robustness and will help deliver high class services to customers at affordable rates. This according to the company also makes Airtel's networks fully ready for next generation services that include high speed data and value added services.

In addition, Airtel said a full upgrade of the charging platforms across all operations was implemented introducing the latest version of Ericsson's Charging System, enabling her to offer subscribers new and innovative value-added services such as mobile wallets. This project is aimed at resulting in Airtel's 60+ million customers having a better experience on their networks.

Chief Technical Officer, Airtel Africa, Eben Albertyn, said "The customer is at the core of everything we do at Airtel. The implementation of this transformation program will enable us to further enrich our customer experience across the region. It allows us to provide Airtel subscribers with the best network possible while meeting the growing usage of mobile data. Our long-standing relationship with Ericsson gave us confidence in their ability to manage and deliver such a large and complex project."

Backed by 12,000 consulting and systems integration professionals across the world, the company said over one hundred Ericsson resources worked onsite to ensure successful delivery of this complex project - the largest network modernization program in Africa's telecom history.

Ericsson's systems integration organization delivers more than 1500 systems integration projects per year in multi-vendor and multiple-technology environments. Projects range from single-solution integrations to end-to-end solution transformation projects such as this one.

Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, Lars Lindén, said, "In the transition to a Networked Society in Africa, operators are facing growing challenges in meeting the rapidly evolving demands of consumers. The focus of this project was transforming Airtel Africa's networks to meet current and future consumer demands."

This transformation follows the 2011 announcement of an ongoing five year multi-country managed services agreement, wherein Ericsson manages and optimises Airtel's mobile networks across Africa.

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