Nokia and Algérie Télécom launch North Africa's first LTE network

Nokia said it has deployed the first commercial LTE network in North Africa after rolling out the high-speed mobile infrastructure for state-owned Algerian operator, Algérie Télécom.

Under the terms of the contract, Nokia said it provided its Single RAN Advanced solution based on the flexible Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for the majority of the LTE network. In addition, Nokia provided a security solution that included technology from Juniper Networks, in order to protect both the operator's network assets and end users' privacy. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.

"We had a huge demand for ultra-fast broadband network and greater coverage as the number of broadband subscribers was rapidly growing across the length and breadth of Algeria," said Azouaou Mehmel, president and CEO of Algérie Télécom Group.

The deal further ramps up Nokia's growing base of LTE networks as it seeks to build its position in the mobile infrastructure market following the sale of its devices unit to Microsoft. The Finnish vendor said it has 141 LTE and TD-LTE network references worldwide.

Earlier this month, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) said firm commitments to deploy LTE networks have been made in 150 countries by 497 network operators, with 288 LTE networks now commercially launched in 104 countries. The GSA estimates there were 240 million LTE subscribers worldwide at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report more than 65 per cent of the world's population will be covered by LTE in 2019.

Nokia faces strong competition from rivals such as China's Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and Sweden-based Ericsson, which also just notched up another LTE-related deal by securing the contract to launch voice over LTE (VoLTE) services on the commercial LTE network of Bouygues Telecom in France.

"Commercial service rollout is scheduled for 2015 and our network will be carrying the first voice and video calls over LTE later this year," said Jean-Paul Arzel, head of the networks division at Bouygues Telecom.

Meanwhile Alcatel-Lucent announced this week that it has been selected as a candidate provider for LTE networks to Telenor subsidiaries in 13 countries in Europe and Asia under a framework agreement between the two companies.

For more:
- see this Nokia release
- see this Ericsson release
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release

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