Bharti Airtel has completed a network transformation programme across its mobile operations in 16 African countries in partnership with Ericsson. The programme involved upgradation and expansion of network elements on all of Airtel's African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems, the company said in a statement. "... It allows us to provide Airtel subscribers with the best network possible while meeting the growing usage of mobile data.
Our long-standing relationship with Ericsson gave us confidence in their ability to manage and deliver such a large and complex project," Airtel Africa Chief Technical Officer Eben Albertyn said. The programme, under which Ericsson has deployed wireless technologies, will enhance Airtel's network capacity and robustness and help deliver services to customers at affordable rates, the statement said. "This also makes Airtel's networks fully ready for next generation services that include high speed data and value added services," it added. The company said it implemented a full upgrade of the charging platforms across all operations using Ericsson's Charging System, which will enable it to offer services like "mobile wallets" to the subscribers. "In the transition to a Networked Society in Africa, operators are facing growing challenges in meeting the rapidly evolving demands of consumers. The focus of this project was transforming Airtel Africa's networks to meet current and future consumer demands," Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa Lars Lindén said. The transformation programme follows the 2011 announcement of an ongoing five year multi-country managed services agreement, wherein Ericsson would manage and optimise Airtel's mobile networks across Africa.