Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson and mobile network operator Millicom Tanzania (Tigo) have launched the first active 3G sites as part of a GSMA infrastructure-sharing partnership geared towards connecting rural Tanzania. Based on the multi-standard Ericsson Radio System, the pilot tower sites will provide mobile broadband coverage in parts of the rural Lindi Mtwara region, a province where there was previously no connection. The deployment is an offshoot of a pilot infrastructure-sharing partnership brokered by the GSMA last year between Millicom, Airtel, Vodacom and the government of Tanzania to connect the over 13 million underserved individuals living in rural parts of the country.
Ericsson says the energy-efficient suite of solutions will enable Millicom and its roaming partners to seamlessly identify underserved communities in the region, making it faster to introduce or improve the mobile broadband experience of subscribers in rural communities. ‘At Tigo, it is our mission to lead the adoption of the internet and a digital lifestyle in Tanzania,’ commented the cellco’s CTO Jerome Albou, adding: ‘Access to mobile broadband will open these rural communities to previously elusive services such as mobile money, e-health, e-education and e-government, thereby transforming the way people play, learn and do business forever.’