* MTN and Ericsson - Nigeria

Swedish equipment and solutions provider Ericsson has announced that MTN Nigeria has become the first African operator to deploy its SSR 8020 platform for wireless IP core network, helping to boost the operator’s ability to meet its subscribers’ rapidly increasing demand for data services. The Evolved Packet Gateway (EPG) will support MTN Nigeria’s current 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi networks, and will also be able to support future upgrades to Long Term Evolution (LTE). Lars Linden, head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, commented: ‘The flexibility and capacity of the SSR platform will allow MTN Nigeria to introduce newer, smarter functions and capabilities which will enhance the mobile broadband experience for end users.’ This includes traffic management capabilities for quality of service differentiation and improved operator billing and rating options. Ericsson will provide turnkey services, including installation, integration and commissioning of the new SSR 8020 platform as well as support services.

* SA's Esquire Technologies and LG : Africa

South Africa’s electronic and ICT products distributor has signed a deal with LG company to distribute its electronic and ICT products in southern Africa.

Esquire Technologies is one of the major electronics distribution companies in South Africa and was formed in 1999.

The company has presence in other southern African countries including, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland.

This will definitely extend the radius of the distribution of LG products such as phones, LCD screens, sound systems, and projectors.

Asgar Mahomed, Managing Director of Esquire did confirm this deal through a statement released by the company.

“We are increasingly looking to add Tier One products to our growing product range, such as the products from suppliers like Kingston and Asus. In this regard, we expect the LG range to be one of our key focal points going forward,” he said.

The Managing Director also exuded confidence that the partnership will have a big impact on the company’s bottom line. He also said the partnership was extremely strategic and exciting for the company.

This will also reflect well on LG’s products since Esquire has over 12,000 distributors in the region.  This is due to Esquire’s Virtual Reseller Network.

“The VRN solution has effectively turned participating resellers into ‘multi-millionaires overnight’ as the resellers have virtual access to the entire Esquire stock holding, which is updated directly to the reseller’s web-site at regular intervals – often as frequently as every three minutes,” the MD said.

The company says this reseller model is a first in its kind and will see more products being pushed throughout the region.

* TTCL and NEC – Tanzania

Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL) has selected NEC Corp of Japan to provide it with ‘last mile connectivity’ communication equipment, local paper The Guardian reports, citing the communications, science and technology minister Prof Makame Mbarawa as saying. In an address to the legislative assembly on Wednesday to present his budget estimates for fiscal 2012/13, Prof Mbarawa said that the contract tie-up had been reached at a recent investment conference for Southern Africa Development Community members held in Japan. The minister informed parliament that TTCL has put measures in place to ensure that there is no repeat of the debt problems the telco experienced when servicing government agencies in the past; the carrier’s collection rate is currently 96% with the aim of hitting 100%, he said.