News coming directly from Ericsson confirms its collaboration with Airtel to launch infrastructure to ensure broadband internet will be affordable for the vast majority of Nigerians.
Both firms, in a joint statement said they will be rolling out the award-winning Ericsson Radio System in several sites across the country. Ericsson Radio System’s multi-standard platform enables Airtel Nigeria to cost-effectively leverage the reach, maturity and increasing affordability of today’s 3G technology, while laying the foundation for their 4G and 5G evolution.
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According to the statement, the network-wide solution incorporates a broad range of products including: radio, baseband, small cells, backhaul, fronthaul, enclosures, power site equipment and the controller. These products are augmented through twice-yearly network software updates, and through Ericsson Global Services offerings.
Speaking to correspondents in an interview, the Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Ahmed Mokhles said;
“Mobile broadband access is really a prerequisite to achieving our key objective of enriching the lives and empowering the people of Nigeria to benefit both consumers and industry. Ericsson Radio System provides the performance and efficiency to support this objective while also ensuring a future-proof evolution as Nigeria continues to establish itself as a progressive and innovative ICT-driven country.”
They also forecast that by 2021, more than 90% of the world’s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks. Meanwhile, cost points for entry-level cellular devices reduced by 85% over the last ten years. This increasing device affordability addresses the major barrier to entry and is achieved through the global economies of scale enabled by cellular standards.
Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson, says:
“Airtel Nigeria and their customers are directly benefitting from the performance and efficiency innovations designed in to the Ericsson Radio System – network-wise, its future-proof multi-standard platform ensures a smooth evolution, while its compact, modular design reduces operating costs enabling Airtel Nigeria to offer more affordable mobile broadband access today.
“Ericsson Radio System has already won both the Global Mobile Award for Best Mobile Infrastructure and the Red Dot Award for Product Design, but it is the recognition of our key customers like Airtel Nigeria that matters the most.”