Airtel Niger, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has selected Ericsson for the deployment of a 3G end-to-end network to deliver high speed mobile broadband service to the cellco’s customer base. The network, which extends across the country, comprises radio base stations based on the Swedish vendor’s latest multi-standard radio access portfolio, RBS 6000; the RNC 3280 radio network controller; and the latest core technology, which will boost the capacity of the network and transform it with IP functionality. Ericsson says the RBS 6000 multi-standard radio base station substantially reduces power consumption, lowering operational expenditure for Airtel and reducing the long-term environmental impact. ‘3G was a must in our strategy in Niger where data penetration is still very low,’ commented Airtel Niger CEO Raymond Mendy, adding: ‘As a leader in Niger’s telecoms market, Airtel’s ambition is to bring innovative data products and services that will help people and businesses to unlock their potential. Internet connections will never be the same with Airtel 3G service.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Airtel Niger, the local cellular unit of Indian telecoms company Bharti Airtel, was awarded a 15-year licence for the establishment and operation of a 3G network in July 2014. At the same time, the West African country also agreed to renew Airtel’s existing 2G concession, for a total consideration of XOF34 billion (USD69.8 million).