Ericsson is to provide the equipment for a 4G LTE network in Lagos, Nigeria on behalf of mobile operator Smile Communications. Ericsson will deploy its multi-standard RBS 6000 family of base stations and the compact and fully integrated AIR (Antenna Integrated Radio) Antennas, in West Africa for the first time.
Ericsson is also providing a complete Evolved Packet Core network including Evolved Packet Gateway and Mobility Management Entity.
Smile Communications launching the 4G LTE network on 800MHz spectrum in Ibadan and Lagos, both in Nigeria. In Ibadan, commercial services were launched in February 2013, making Smile Communications the first to launch this LTE technology in West Africa.
In Lagos commercial services were launched on 19 February 2014, offering an improved mobile broadband experience based on LTE technologies to subscribers. More locations across the country will follow soon.
Tom Allen, Smile Group chief operating officer said: "At Smile Communications, we seek to deliver affordable, high-quality and easy-to-use broadband internet access and communications services to our customers and in Nigeria, Ericsson is helping us do this.
“With successful commercial operations since 2013, we are very excited to formally announce today the commencement of our services and the beginning of a cross-country roll-out. We are starting in Lagos and will lay our footprints in other major cities across the country shortly.”
Smile Communications and Ericsson have a three-year network deployment agreement to develop over 1,100 LTE sites across the country. Under the terms of this agreement, Ericsson is responsible for the project management, system integration, interoperability testing, network design and implementation.
Magnus Mchunguzi, VP, Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, said: "With mobile data traffic estimated to grow 17 times by 2019 and Nigeria currently holding the highest number of mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa, superior network performance is imperative. As a global HSPA and LTE leader, we are committed to partnering with Smile Communications in meeting this growing demand for enriched broadband experience."