Alcatel-Lucent builds Airtel’s network backbone across Africa

Telecoms

Alcatel-Lucent is to help Bharti Airtel meet rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services in its African operations by supplying advanced new IP-based networking technology to support the delivery of new mobile broadband data and video services.

Rising smartphone ownership in Africa is driving demand for high-bandwidth mobile data services such as video calling and online gaming. To satisfy this demand and meet continued expansion, Alcatel-Lucent will evolve Airtel Africa’s data transport and mobile backhaul1 networks using its IP/MPLS (IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching) technology.

This new backbone network will support all mobile broadband services to Airtel’s 17 affiliates across Africa – serving 60 million customers - as well as a much more robust interconnection to global networks including the UK. The single international network will offer a more simple structure to improve performance, reliability, capacity convergence and interoperable mechanisms for faster service recovery. The Airtel investment includes a common platform for Layer 2 and Layer 3 service provisioning to reduce the time of delivering the variety of service types. The result being faster internet speeds for mobile and Airtel business solutions, toll quality voice and extension of services from Airtel, ultimately leading to better customer experience and reduction in the cost of operations.