Airtel in pact with Ericsson for network transformation project in 16 African nations targeting 60 million users

Telecom Lead Africa: Bharti Airtel in association with Ericsson will undertake a network transformation program in 16 African countries targeting 60 million users.

Airtel will upgrade and expand network elements on Airtel’s African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems.

This network transformation program, under which Ericsson has deployed latest wireless technologies, will enhance Airtel’s network capacity and robustness and help deliver better services to customers at affordable rates. This also makes Airtel’s networks fully ready for next generation services that include high speed data and value added services.

Airtel is upgrading its charging platforms across all operations thanks to Ericsson’s Charging System. Airtel will be able to offer subscribers new and innovative value-added services such as mobile wallets.

Eben Albertyn, chief technical officer, Airtel Africa

“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,” said Eben Albertyn, chief technical officer, Airtel Africa.

In 2011, Ericsson and Airtel announced their five year multi-country managed services agreement, wherein Ericsson would manage and optimize Airtel’s mobile networks across Africa.

Lars Lindén, head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, 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.”

Recently, Airtel announced that it offers free incoming roaming service in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to its African customers.

According to a report in, over the last year, Airtel has reduced the number of sites running solely on diesel by more than 50 per cent through the use of innovative models such as a Hybrid Battery Bank. By 2013, the Company aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network. This means no site will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.

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