Smile Telecoms has announced the extension of its existing partnership with Alcatel-Lucent to roll out Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in Tanzania, Uganda and DR Congo.
Alcatel-Lucent will provide design, build and operate services for Smile’s LTE networks as part of a five-year agreement to bring fixed and mobile broadband services to Africa.
Smile was the first mobile services provider to deploy commercial 800 Mhz LTE network in Africa, with installed networks in Tanzania and Uganda.
According to the announcement, made available to PANA here Friday, Smile will be in a position to roll out nationwide coverage of full 800 Mhz LTE services in all three of its markets within three years.
“The companies will launch full coverage in Dar es Salaam and Kampala before the end of first quarter 2013, with near-national coverage in both markets in 2014,” it said.
Services will include ADSL-type connectivity for businesses and homes, as well as full mobile broadband, at speeds up to 20Mbs.
Smile will provide both wholesale and retail services in all its markets.
“We believe that the long-term social and economic impact of mobile broadband in Africa has only begun to emerge, and will continue to transform our continent. We expect particularly strong demand growth for data services – most of it driven by mobile broadband,” said Daniel Jaeger, Vice President of Alcatel-Lucent activities in Africa.