Airtel in massive Africa wi-fi rollout

Established international telecommunications company Airtel announced it will deploy Ruckus Wireless Wi-Fi carrier-grade access points across 17 African nations in an effort to boost high-speed service to regions that readily rely upon 2G networks.

Airtel has announced the deployment of Ruckus Wireless Wi-Fi carrier-grade access points across 17 African nations. (Image: File)

The rollout was announced by GigaOM, citing a top official close to Airtel with information related to the delivery.

According to the report, Airtel Africa “plans to roll out tens of thousands of access points in high-traffic areas” across the continent.

It said that it has already begun the process in Niger.

“The equipment will serve as a lower-cost replacement for 3G/4G in places such as hotels, airports and busy shopping districts,” the report said.

One source was reported as saying that “the operator plans to extend it to its other African markets quickly and could expand it to over 100,000 nodes if the rollout is successful.”

Alcatel-Lucent reportedly will act as systems integrator and provide its service and aggregation router. Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that it is building a backhaul and backbone data transport network for Airtel, but did not give further details.

Airtel is currently present in Burkina Faso, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nigeria, the Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

David Eto