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Nokia and Airtel Kenya lay 5G foundations in Kenya

Airtel Kenya wants to enhance its network services around the country


Airtel Kenya has inked a deal with Finish telco equipment maker, Nokia, to modernize Nairobi with high speed 4G and 5G-ready hardware. The deal will run for three years and will also future-proof Airtel Kenya’s 4G network to give the telco an easier transition to the next generation of wireless communications, 5G.

“We are excited to partner with Nokia on this project. Its technology portfolio improves our network quality considerably and also allows us to move to 5G services in the future,” P. D. Sarma, CEO, Airtel Kenya.

Airtel Kenya seeks to better its network connectivity for customers around the country to enable them to access enhanced voice and data services.

This is an important step for the company, as many of their users continuously complain of poor connectivity in many parts of the country.

For the same reason, Airtel Africa, in October, partnered with Ericsson to enhance its 4G network coverage in Kenya and future-proof its infrastructure for a smooth transition to 5G.

Nokia will upgrade existing 2G, 3G, and 4G radio access network (RAN) coverage in different areas in urban, semi-urban, highways, tourist spots, and central business districts in Nairobi and the rest of Kenya. In the end, Nokia will cover hundreds of sites.

As part of the deal, Nokia will supply Airtel Kenya with its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio of products, including base stations and radio access products, to enhance connectivity both indoor and outdoor.

The company will also manage Airtel Kenya’s network, and they will help them in digital deployment, network planning, and technical support services to fasten the entire launch process.

“These solutions will enable Airtel Kenya to deliver improved connectivity and capacity benefits including enhanced voice and data services to its subscribers while reducing complexity and driving cost efficiencies,” Nokia said in a press release.

Deployment officially began in June this year.

“We are in the midst of rolling out our network to enhance coverage along with modernization of our data network that will help us to deliver improved, high-speed data services to our customers. This will allow our customers seamless coverage enhancing their browsing experience further,” said Airtel Kenya’s CEO.

“This is an exciting deal in an exciting market. We are proud to supply Airtel Kenya with our comprehensive AirScale portfolio and support the operator with its efforts to deliver the best possible connectivity experiences to end-users in Kenya. In a maturing market, we look forward to helping Airtel execute its strategy in the short-term as well as set it on the path to 5G services,” said Rajiv Aggarwal, Head of CEWA Market Unit at Nokia.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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