Airtel Africa inks network expansion deal with Huawei

Manoj Kohli, CEO, Airtel Africa (Image: file photo)
Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced an agreement with Huawei, a leader in next-generation telecommunications network solutions, to modernize and expand Airtel’s 2G & 3G network infrastructure in Africa. As per the agreement Huawei will be responsible for designing, planning, modernization and expansion of Bharti Airtel’s networks, as well as managing operations and maintenance. This innovative Managed Capacity Manager Service business model, pioneered by Airtel eight years ago in India, will enhance the customer experience through improved voice quality and extended coverage into under-penetrated areas.

The agreement will enable Airtel Africa to rapidly expand its mobile services and mobile broadband footprint in the region.
Announcing the agreement Mr. Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel, said “The partnership with Huawei takes us one step closer to realising our vision of making affordable and world-class telecom services available to Africa. This partnership will allow us to focus on delivering better customer experience as we leverage the global network management expertise of Huawei. It also lays the foundation for the introduction of 3G HSPA wireless broadband services. We firmly believe that mobile broadband is a major catalyst for economic growth and development, and with this partnership we will be able to offer world-class and affordable voice & internet experience to our customers while contributing to the economic growth in Africa.”

The next-generation state-of-the-art network will deliver an extended range of services focused on user-centric broadband applications. In line with global trends, Africa is experiencing a surge in demand for access to mobile data applications. The modernization and optimization of networks will give Bharti Airtel an opportunity to lower its operating expenditure and roll-out innovative and exciting customer centric products & services at affordable prices.

Sun Yafang, Chairwoman of Huawei Board, said: “Bharti Airtel is a great operator with tremendous potential and high business value. We understand Airtel’s strategic requirements and will match their fast development to achieve a win-win business success between both parties. As a leading Telecom solutions vendor, Huawei has substantial experience over the years to provide state-of-the-art technologies and services to top operators in the world. We believe our innovative technologies as well as strong delivery capability will bring Bharti Airtel’s customers a better user experience and value proposition.”

The partnership with Huawei will enable Airtel Africa to channel its resources and expertise to its core areas of product innovation, value added services, marketing, branding and pricing, while simultaneously providing world class mobile services by leveraging Huawei’s world class expertise in network management. Under the terms of the agreement, Huawei will deploy its complete GSM and 3G product portfolio including BTS 3900 multi-standard radio base stations working with GSM and HSPA technologies, which will further be equipped and prepared for Long Term Evolution (LTE).