ZTE picked up a contract to deploy the second phase of state-owned Algerian operator Algérie Télécom's LTE network, nearly a year after the operator took a leading position in Africa with the launch of the first phase in its 4G rollout.
The Chinese vendor said it will deploy FDD LTE infrastructure in 14 wilayas (provinces) in North East Algeria in the second round infrastructure deployment, which forms part of Algerian government plans to deploy fixed and mobile broadband networks throughout the country.
ZTE said the latest contract follows its involvement in elements of Algérie Télécom's first phase LTE rollout, which was completed in April 2014.
Rival vendor Nokia Networks also worked on the first phase for the Algerian operator, it revealed in 2014. At the time, Algérie Télécom president and CEO Azouaou Mehmel said the LTE network would help the company to meet "huge demand" for ultra-fast broadband services.
LTE is increasingly being used to bypass fixed broadband infrastructure throughout Africa, or by operators seeking to upgrade existing 2G and 3G networks. Around 80 per cent of Africa's population still lacks Internet access, and LTE has already been used by operators including Surfline to establish mobile broadband services despite having no legacy fixed or mobile infrastructure.
The LTE networks could also be used in Africa's growing machine-to-machine (M2M) communications sector. Research company IDC recently noted there is significant potential for M2M growth in the continent, with South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria currently heading the charge.
Orange last week detailed plans to deploy a $40 (€36.83) mobile data package in African markets. The package, which includes air time and a budget-level smartphone, has the potential to deliver "significant Internet" access to the continent, Marc Rennard, Orange EVP International for Africa, the Middle East and Asia told FierceWireless:Europe.
- see this ZTE announcement
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