The launch of the 3G platform promises profound changes in the way Airtel subscribers experience the web on internet-enabled cell phones. The improved technology will enhance multimedia functionality, high speed mobile broadband and internet access; allowing users to make video calls, watch live TV, send and receive emails, and download music from the handheld devices.
Bharti Airtel, a telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, yesterday took a significant step towards building the largest 3G network across Africa by announcing the launch of its 3G mobile platform in Burkina Faso. The launch of the 3.75G follows the award of a 3G license to Airtel by the Burkina Faso Government. The granting of the license is an important milestone since it will contribute to the development of the country and it will facilitate Internet access for all Burkinabé.
This is the latest technology HSPSA+ being launched in several European and American countries. Reaching speeds of up to 21 mbps, Airtel’s 3.75G network is one of the fastest available globally and it will be immensely beneficial to multinationals, SMEs and the youth.
“3G technology will give our customers the opportunity to interact with cellular technology in a different way,” explains Tiemoko Coulibaly, CEO of Airtel Africa Francophone Region. “This is why Airtel doesn’t see 3G as a product, but rather as a platform that enables our subscribers to experience data better.”
According to Mr. Coulibaly, Airtel’s goal is to build the largest 3G network on the continent, while continuing to provide innovative and useful services which will enable customers to take full advantage of this new technology.
Hervé-Njapoum Olivier, the Managing Director of Airtel Burkina Faso, said: “We are grateful towards the political and administrative authorities of Burkina Faso for the granting of the license through the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post. We share the same vision on strengthening the country’s telecommunications platform. Airtel’s 3.75G network will enhance the social, cultural and commercial participation of the people of Burkina Faso and it will connect them with the global community. “
He added: “Our 3G platform will allow subscribers to combine the enormous potential of the Internet with the convenience of cellular phones and other mobile devices. It will unleash the potential of our youth by providing quick access to the Internet for learning, sharing, social networks, creation and access to educational and musical content. For Small and Medium Enterprises, it will allow the entrepreneur to adopt a highly mobile way of working with a very fast access to emails and the Internet. For the larger companies, they can increase their productivity with high-speed Internet.”
Airtel is committed to always expand its network coverage and bringing communication opportunities to the people. Thus, after Ouagadougou, the deployment of 3.75G network will continue in other cities such as Bobo-Dioulasso, Ouahigouya Koudougou, Banfora and Ziniaré.
Africa is an emerging market and subscribers across the continent are increasingly demanding a more reliable network and superior services. To provide infrastructure and high level solutions to meet these requirements, Airtel has chosen to trust Ericsson, as a supplier. Thanks to the Ericsson equipment, the latest version of the 3G technology will be deployed in Burkina Faso.
According to data from McKinsey & Co., there are currently about 400 million mobile subscribers in Africa. Telecommunications is one of the continent’s fastest growing industries with a rapidly expanding cellular phone market that now includes internet access, mobile banking and mobile commerce.