Vodacom Tanzania has become the first mobile service provider in East Africa to launch an LTE (long term evolution) network with its trials in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The network has been deployed by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and will cover Msasani Peninsular.
Vodacom Tanzania MD Rene Meza said, “that LTE will make Tanzania at par with the rest of the world in terms of technology as it will allow Vodacom customers to enjoy superior internet speeds which will in turn enhance services such as a M-Commerce, M-Health, M- Agriculture and M-Education in the future.
LTE is designed to easily merge with the existing technologies in the market. Vodacom’s LTE trial will allow for a smooth handover between 2G, 3G, 3.5 G and 3.75 G. The network will thus allow users will have access to seamless communication services as they move through various parts of the country.
There are various smart phones in the market today that are LTE enabled. These include the iPhone 5, Samsung S3, Nokia Lumia 800 and Galaxy Note 2.
Meza said that Vodacom is currently in discussion with the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) about the allocation of spectrum that would allow for LTE to be commercially deployed countrywide. According to the experience from advanced markets such as Germany and Korea, the 800 MHz and/or 1800 MHz spectrum bands allow for wider coverage and cost efficient deployment of LTE, as well as wide device availabilty.
”Current spectrum for LTE has been fully allocated to licensees but Tanzania is yet to enjoy fast super Internet speed countrywide. We are therefore, hopeful that the government will be able to provide us with guidance on the way forward,” he said.
He went on to say that “Vodacom is committed to bringing world-class services to Tanzania. LTE is one such technology which will contribute to the development of the country’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry and provide ultra-fast internet speeds that are at par with leading operators around the world.”
“We selected Nokia Siemens Networks because of its proven capability in LTE deployments around the world. Its advanced radio and core platforms made the trial possible, and the excellent results convinced us that we can roll out a reliable and high-quality LTE network.”
For his part, the Head of Vodacom’s Customer Team at Nokia Siemens Networks, Pete Beadle says, “Our advanced Flexi Multiradio Base Station was a natural choice for this trial as it is capable of seamlessly supporting multiple technologies on a single platform. Our radio and core platforms used in the trial demonstrated super fast internet speeds which would lead to improved customer experience on the Vodacom network.”
Vodacom is uniquely positioned to deploy LTE all over Tanzania because of its connectivity to the National Information Communication Technology Broadband Backbone as well as its connectivity to the international submarine cables.
Vodacom Tanzania is a subsidiary company of Vodacom Group (Pty) Limited, South Africa, which is also a subsidiary of Vodafone Group UK. Vodacom Group (Pty) Limited owns a majority share portion of 65 percent; the remaining 35 percent is owned by Mirambo Ltd.