Alternative operator Smile Communications Tanzania, owned by African group Smile Telecom Holdings Ltd, has launched a 4G network in the capital Dar es Salaam based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology supplied by Alcatel-Lucent. The new system uses the 800MHz band to provide advanced, ultra-high speed LTE services to business and residential users – a first for the region. At launch Smile Communications says its signal will provide coverage in Tanzania’s principal commercial city and major seaport, although it intends to provide ‘ubiquitous’ coverage in the near future.
Smile launched a pilot trial of the new network in April this year, rolling out 4G LTE equipment in several districts of Dar es Salaam, including Mikocheni, Massani Peninsula, Oysterbay and Sinza. The altnet claims business users and consumers located there can now benefit from wireless broadband access speeds of up to four times those available on rivals’ 3G networks. Smile is supplying broadband routers which enable end users to access its services in homes, offices and public places, such as shopping malls and internet cafes. The operator now plans to extend coverage throughout Tanzania during the second half of 2012, followed by the launch of similar services in the other three countries where Smile currently operates.
French-US equipment vendor Alca-Lu claims it is providing operators such as Smile Communications with ‘a clear, efficient broadband evolution path’. Its ‘lightRadio’ portfolio of products are designed to be fully integrated into Smile’s core platform operating in the 800MHz band, and will result in lower capital rollout costs, it said.