CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

30 May 2014

Tanzania: NEC to Upgrade Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited Links

NEC Corporation has announced it is upgrading microwave links on behalf of the Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL) that will see the connection of six key rural and island locations in the country.

This will double mobile network capacity and meet demand from local citizens, enterprises and tourists in a deal worth US $1.6 million with the government having already inaugurated the route from Dar es Salaam to the island resort of Zanzibar with further connections from Shinyanga to Maswa in the north and Mikumi to Kidatu in southern Tanzania are planned to open shortly.

TTCL is using various NEC solutions which support a hybrid TDM and IP-based mobile backhaul service enabling the operator to continue to leverage investments in existing legacy TDM systems for voice traffic.

The solutions are also being utilized in high speed, high capacity Ethernet for data with the option of transitioning to an all-IP network to enable highly efficient long haul transmissions in the future. The solution can also support the expansion of LTE network services when required with minimal capacity upgrades, in addition to the 3G networks of today.

According to minister of communication, science and technology of Tanzania Makame Mbarawa the upgrade is part of the government's plan to use technology as a tool for sustainable development.

"Our latest mobile infrastructure upgrades are a key part of the important work the Tanzanian government is undertaking to deliver our Vision 2025 programme and use the latest communication technologies as a tool for sustainable development. We're pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with NEC to support the needs of communities and entrepreneurial businesses throughout the country," he says.

NEC through its managing director for Africa Eugene Le Roux says Tanzanian citizens will notice an improvement in the network's capacity.

"Tanzanian citizens will see a noticeable difference in the mobile network's capacity to handle even more web browsing and m-commerce transactions as a result of this upgrade. NEC has been providing innovative technologies to Tanzania Telecommunications Company for over forty years and we're delighted their customers will continue to benefit from our latest high speed, future-proofed mobile backhaul solutions," says Le Roux.

The Dar es Salaam link supports Fast Ethernet (FE) and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) interfaces with packet switching capacity of 40 to 48 Gigabits per second (Gbps) for rapid mobile data transfer with smart bandwidth and capacity utilization and management.

Tanzania has a mobile penetration rate of 75% as of the end of December 2013 with 14% of people having fixed internet at home and a minority of 0.4% own a landline according to Budde.com. NEC has supplied been supplying telecom technologies to TTCL since 1972, including over 29,000 microwave backhaul radio units to date. TTCL is majority owned by the Tanzanian government with a 35% stake held by the Indian-headquartered operator Airtel.

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