African telecom firm Smile taps Alcatel-Lucent for 4G LTE services

Telecom Lead Africa: African telecom operator Smile
Telecom has tapped Alcatel-Lucent to unveil 4G LTE services in Dar es Salaam,

Alcatel-Lucent said the network will be the first in
Africa to provide 4G LTE service in the 800 MHz frequency band.

Smile will tap businesses and consumers with super-fast,
high-quality Internet access, initially in the principal commercial city and
major seaport of Tanzania.

Broadband has a significant impact on socio-economic
development and through our presence in the country we hope to play an
important role in improving the livelihood of Tanzanians. There is huge demand
for Internet connectivity in Tanzania and working with Alcatel-Lucent we are
able to provide our customers with faster, better quality connections,
resulting in ever more compelling services to satisfy their demands,” said Tom
Allen, chief operating officer of Smile.

Smile’s core platform will be integrated with
Alcatel-Lucent’s network equipment operating in the 800 MHz frequency. Smile
will benefit from lower capital costs. The African mobile operator will also
gain from a growing variety of LTE devices, including routers, dongles,
handsets and tablets already on the market.

Alcatel-Lucent claims that it has more than 20 LTE
contracts for commercial deployments including two of the largest LTE network
roll-outs, and engagement in more than 70 LTE trials worldwide.

Alcatel-Lucent has extensive expertise in delivering
comprehensive mobile broadband services to meet the needs of many communities. 
We have a solid understanding of Smile’s needs and those of their customers.
Our 4G LTE technology brings broadband services to many people that haven’t had
access to such services in the past, helping drive economic growth in Tanzania
and unlocking new revenue streams for Smile,” said Daniel Jaeger, vice
president of Alcatel-Lucent activities in Africa.

Smile has rolled out 4G LTE services in several districts
of Dar es Salaam, including Mikocheni, Massani Peninsula, Oysterbay and Sinza.
Broadband routers are used to access the services and have been installed in
homes, offices and public places, such as shopping malls and Internet cafes.

Smile Telecom plans to extend coverage through Tanzania
in 2012, followed by the launch of similar services in the other three
countries where Smile currently operates.

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