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May 30 2016

GTB Award for Airtel Africa’s mega digital backbone


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Friedrich Trawoeger, VP of Managed Services Nokia and Raman Sharma, Airtel Global accepting the GTB award

Consolidating and centralizing. Sometimes easier said than done, but oh so worth it in this business. Not just for efficiency purposes but also to ensure a top performing network thanks to the improved consistency in processes and tools. Airtel Africa understood this well when they embarked on the journey with Nokia to build and operate a digital IP backbone for 17 African nations to provide 2G/3G, mobile commerce and banking for 76 million subscribers. The Telecom Industry recognized this achievement with a Global Telecoms Business award on the 25th of May, 2016 in London.

One single seamless operation

The IP backbone is essential to help support and boost Africa’s economic development and education. Airtel needed to transform their legacy synchronous digital hierarchy network and build, manage and operate a new international carrier-class IP/multiprotocol label switching network across all 17 African countries in a highly efficient way.

Nokia operates the end-to-end network as one single, seamless entity across all of the target countries. The build, operate and manage solution for the backbone network included a Service Aware Manager Platform, Service Routers, Switches and Aggregation Routers.

Traffic increase by 110%

To date, the enterprise network has been launched in 8 countries resulting in a 110% increase in traffic. Once the remaining countries are on board, Airtel Africa will have achieved a reliable digital backbone with significant socio-economic benefits for the continent. Nokia’s role also extends beyond the building and operation of this IP backbone to management of network and service operations remotely for Airtel Africa’s mobile Core, RAN 2G / 3G and access networks in 11 countries powered by our GDC in India with near 100% Core and RAN performance levels.

Watch the short video case summary here

For more information on the project contact Nokia.

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About Carlijn Adema

Carlijn Adema is responsible for Professional Services marketing at Nokia Networks. She blogs about how the telco world continues to change our daily lives and gives insight on how operators can anticipate these by using Nokia solutions such as simplification, automation and analytics. Dutch born, Carlijn holds a degree in economics and communications from the University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and currently lives in the UK.