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Airtel, Nokia tie up for 5G network in Kenya

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) Bharti Airtel's Africa arm and telecom gear maker Nokia on Monday announced a three-year deal to modernise network in Nairobi with high-speed 4G, and deploy 5G-ready equipment.

The deployment of 5G-ready network started in June and will cover hundreds of sites, the statement said.

It will include upgrading existing 2G, 3G and 4G radio access network (RAN) coverage in urban, semi-urban, highways, tourist spots and central business districts in Nairobi and the rest of Kenya, it added.

Nokia's network infrastructure will also offer Airtel Kenya the option to smoothly transition to 5G when necessary. The upgraded network will deliver enhanced connectivity to customers of Airtel Kenya and access to new, high-speed data services.

Airtel Kenya CEO P D Sarma said in the statement said, 'We are in the midst of rolling out our network to enhance coverage along with modernisation of our data network that will help us deliver improved, high-speed data services to our customers.' He added that this will allow customers seamless coverage enhancing their browsing experience further. 'We are excited to partner with Nokia on this project. Its technology portfolio improves our network quality considerably and also allows us to move to 5G services in the future.' Under the contract, Nokia is supplying Airtel Kenya telecom gears for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including base stations and radio access products.

The improved network will provide higher data speeds using additional 4G spectrum bands and provide access to secure, high-speed and reliable data services, the statement said.

Nokia Head of CEWA Market Unit Rajiv Aggarwal said, 'This is an exciting deal in an exciting market. We are proud to supply Airtel Kenya with our comprehensive AirScale portfolio and support the operator with its efforts to deliver the best possible connectivity experiences to end users in Kenya.' In a maturing market, the company looks forward to helping Airtel execute its strategy in the short-term as well as set it on the path to 5G services, he added. PTI PRS HRS