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The momentum reflects the rapid growth of mobile connectivity across the region, as consumer demand for enhanced mobile services continues to grow and forward-thinking communications service providers are already securing their role in this dynamic market.

According to the June edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, current mobile data traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow 12-fold by 2025. Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to account for 72 percent of all mobile subscriptions in the same year, with LTE subscriptions estimated to triple and top 270 million.  

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Technology brings an unprecedented opportunity to address the challenges of sustainable economic development and improve the livelihood of people in Africa. The latest data shows that Africa is one of the fastest growing mobile markets and reiterates the need for a more efficient technology, higher data rates and availability of ample spectrum. Mobile and fixed networks are key components of critical national infrastructure to sustain and evolve emerging economies during remote work times.”

Expanding footprint in 2020

A slew of recent wins for Ericsson highlight the company’s growing footprint in the region as service providers strengthen their networks to meet growing demand from consumers and enterprises.

Earlier this year, MTN Benin has extended its long-term relationship with Ericsson to provide world-class managed services, including Network Operations Center, Field Services in Radio, Core and Transmission in Benin. Under the agreement, the future capabilities of efficiencies, automation and data will enable MTN Benin and Ericsson to jointly create a world of predictive operations with focus on customer experience, network quality, performance and automation.

In June of this year, Telma Madagascar switched on its 5G commercial network – powered by Ericsson – to offer subscribers high-speed services enabled by the new generation of mobile connectivity.

At the southern tip of the continent, MTN South Africa went live with commercial 5G in Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth on June 30. Ericsson was announced as an MTN South Africa vendor in November 2019, to deploy products and solutions spanning its radio access network (RAN) Ericsson Radio System, transport and 5G Core network portfolios. Ericsson will also deploy Ericsson Spectrum Sharing.

In October 2020, Airtel Africa expanded its strategic partnership with Ericsson to enable 4G coverage in Kenya. With Ericsson’s Radio Access Network (RAN) and packet core products for 4G, Airtel subscribers will experience enhanced quality of voice and data. The network modernization deal, signed in August 2020, is in line with the 'Kenyan Digital Economy Blueprint Vision 2030' which aims to provide robust connectivity in rural areas and facilitate e-commerce platforms.

Committed to sustainability

Ericsson has a major focus in supporting sustainability across Africa. In October 2020 it was announced that Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator will power Telenor Connexion's global connectivity to Wayout's sustainable water treatment micro-factories starting in East Africa. This will expanding to the Middle East, Asia Pacific and other markets in 2021.

Wayout has engineered plug-and-play micro-factories for local production of clean, filtered water, with minimal environmental footprint. Powered by solar panels, the micro-factories offer an advanced water purification system.

October 2020 also saw Airtel Zambia announce a partnership with Ericsson on a Product Take-Back programme to minimize the potential environmental impact when disposing of decommissioned electrical equipment. T

he Product Take-Back programme is part of Ericsson’s sustainability efforts geared towards taking accountability for environmental impacts of all products and services during their lifecycle. The programme ensures that end-of-life material is treated and recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

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