4G LTE services are to be deployed in three African countries following the extension of an agreement between Smile Telecoms and Alcatel-Lucent.
Alcatel-Lucent will provide comprehensive Design, Build and Operate services for Smile’s nationwide LTE networks as part of a planned 5-year partnership to bring true fixed and mobile broadband services to Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Daniel Jaeger, Vice-President of Alcatel-Lucent in Africa, said: “With the delivery of new in-demand services, Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE solution will allow Smile to grow their business and, at the same time, develop mobile broadband further in this economically burgeoning region.”
Earlier this year, Smile became the first network and services operator to deploy a true commercial 800Mhz LTE network in Africa, with successful tests in Uganda and Tanzania. The firm aims to have launched full coverage in Dar Es Salaam and Kampala by the end of Q1 2013, with national coverage in both markets by early 2014.
The firm’s initial goal is to offer ADSL-type connectivity for businesses and homes, as well as full Mobile Broadband, at speeds up to 20Mbs. This will provide a reliable platform for health, commerce and education services, as well as letting customers experience LTE-grade services such as real-time video streaming without buffering and video calls.
In the long term, Smile aims to provide affordable, high-quality and easy-to-use broadband access and communication services across Africa. The firm is working with partners such as Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson to deliver on this vision.