African 4G provider Smile Communications has selected Swedish vendor Ericsson to manage its Long Term Evolution (LTE) operations in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ericsson claims that the deal represents the first 4G managed services contract signed in sub-Saharan Africa. Under the five-year agreement, Smile’s units in the aforementioned countries will benefit from a fully managed end-to-end service that includes network operations, performance, optimisation, field support and maintenance.
TeleGeography notes that Smile offers commercial 4G services in Tanzania (launched in May 2012), Nigeria (February 2013) and Uganda (June 2013). The company’s DRC launch is still pending.