Smile Communications has outsourced management of its 4G/LTE networks in all its operations in Africa to Ericsson in a five-year agreement that covers Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The value of the deal has not been disclosed.
Ericsson will provide a “full managed, end-to-end service that includes network operations, performance, optimisation, field support and maintenance for Smile’s LTE networks”, the companies said.
The contract extends Ericsson’s relationship with Smile in Nigeria, where it’s the operator’s sole supplier of 4G network infrastructure. It will allow Smile to focus on customer service rather than managing its network, Ericsson said.
Ericsson claimed the deal is the first 4G/LTE managed services contract signed in sub-Saharan Africa.
Headquartered in Johannesburg and founded by former MTN executive Irene Charnley, Smile provides fixed-wireless Internet access to markets in Africa.
The company was founded in 2007. Its first commercial network used WiMax technology and was launched in Kampala in Uganda in November 2009. It later shifted to focus on 4G/LTE, launching with this technology in March 2012 in Tanzania, where it now provides services in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Dodoma and Mwanza.
It has since expanded to Nigeria and the DRC. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media