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Algérie Télécom launches VoLTE-capable LTE network

Algiers

AlgiersAlgerian incumbent operator Algérie Télécom has launched North Africa’s first LTE network, to boost its broadband offering as well as offer VoLTE services. Swedish vendor Ericsson, which supplied the network, said it would help alleviate problems caused by demand for fixed broadband services among Algérie Télécom’s  user base.

Ericsson said that the Algerian incumbent’s copper and fiber network has come under “extreme strain” thanks to “massive demand” for high speed internet access in Africa’s largest country. The LTE network will initially be deployed in areas beyond the reach of the operator’s fixed network, before being extended to high usage hotspots, including airports, universities and business districts.

LTE accounts for only a fraction of African mobile deployments. Figures from Informa’s WCIS Plus show that it had been launched in only ten African markets by the end of the first quarter this year and had amassed 1.67 million subscriptions across those markets. South Africa accounts for the vast majority—1.31 million—of those subscriptions.

Azouaou Mehmel, CEO of Algérie Télécom Group, said: “Our close relationship with Ericsson made it possible to roll out the LTE network in a record time, so our customers could start enjoying LTE reliable high speed broadband services. The launch of LTE is a key milestone in Algérie Télécom’s strategic plan of broadband development in Algeria.”

The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Meanwhile Ericsson also announced that it had run a trial of its LTE Broadcast solution at the Netherlands’ Amsterdam Arena over the weekend. The trial saw Ericsson partner with Dutch incumbent KPN as well as Qualcomm, Samsung and IBM, during a match between Dutch football teams Ajax and NEC.

Valter D’Avino, Head of Region Western & Central Europe Ericsson, said: “By blending insight on consumer habits, deep mobile networks expertise, twenty years of video compression technology leadership and service leadership we are able to help operators maximize the revenue opportunity represented by this rapid evolution in video consumption and user demand.”

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