Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodacom Tanzania Limited to connect rural and suburban communities with the first ‘Village Connection’ live network implementation in Africa

(PresseBox) ( Dar es salaam, )
In the coming weeks, underserved communities in Tanzania will benefit from the recent trial agreement entered between Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodacom Tanzania Limited (Vodacom) with the aim of implementing the Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection Solution, which Vodacom wants to employ to further develop its mobile communication network in Tanzania.

The agreement reached in November last year (2007), will allow Vodacom, supplier of universal communication services to East Africa (and Tanzania’s market leader and only operator with a commercial 3G network) to maintain its leadership in remote and rural coverage in Tanzania. Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection was selected as the preferred service to connect remote areas, due to its innovative and unique ability to resolve the challenge of rural coverage to deliver cost effective network capacity (i.e. low capital expenditure, CAPEX) at a low operating cost (OPEX). This will benefit the millions of villagers in Tanzania who only have up to five Euros to spend on telecommunication services per household per month. Dietlof Mare, the Managing Director of Vodacom Tanzania commented, "We are pleased to have a partner that has a deep understanding of the emerging markets and who can combine technical and innovative business modeling competence."

Peter Correia, Vodacom COO, commented "The low OPEX and operational simplicity that the solution presents provides us with the necessary arsenal to maintain our coverage and quality leadership."

Linda Khumalo, Head Of Southern Africa Sub-Region of Nokia Siemens Networks says, "We are happy to have found a visionary partner in Vodacom to bring delivery of Village Connection to Africa. The trial with Vodacom will allow us to prove the solution with an even wider demographic and technological scope – Village Connection was deployed extensively with great success in rural India. Vodacom aims to connect remote sites via satellite. The trial will also prepare Vodacom Tanzania to introduce new business models that defines Village Connection’s innovation and which will allow Vodacom to reach remote and rural customers who are currently not connected to a mobile network. In Tanzania’s mobile telecommunications industry overall market penetration is only at about 17%; and competition to capture the remaining share of the market is steadily increasing."

As part of the project, global telecommunications enabler, Nokia Siemens Networks provided consulting services to Vodacom Tanzania analyzing what would be the most appropriate approach to reach the rural market in Tanzania. Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodacom Tanzania co-operate on a number of initiatives, among which Nokia Siemens Networks is Vodacom’s key supplier in core and 3G radio and the deployment of the African continent’s second 3G network.

Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection trial is the first of its kind in Africa; it will test voice and SMS services on live networks and in some cases will use satellite to act as backhaul. The solution is IP (Internet Protocol) based, enabling cost-effective and flexible backhauling. Vodacom currently services 4 million of Tanzania’s 6.5 million subscribers.

About Vodacom Tanzania Limited
Vodacom Tanzania Limited (Vodacom) is Tanzania’s leading cellular network offering state-of-the-art GSM communication services to more than 4 million customers across the country. Vodacom Tanzania Limited has deployed state of the art technology, thereby enhancing its product portfolio and positioning itself as the market leader for any communication solution. For voice, data, leased lines, PABX connectivity, international connectivity, WiMAX solutions, remote communication solutions over satellite or banking solutions, Vodacom Tanzania addresses the need. Technologies available to subscribers, both individuals and corporate through Vodacom Tanzania include - GSM 900/1800 countrywide covering 50% of the population; - GPRS countrywide covering 50% of the population; - EDGE in selected towns and cities covering 30% of the population; - UMTS with HSDPA in Dar es Salaam covering 10% of the population; and - WiMAX 802.16d in 5 major cities covering 70% of business premises. Vodacom Tanzania Limited continues to offer an exceptional network with a massive coverage and extraordinary quality of services at an affordable rate, with a view of empowering millions of Tanzanians with meaningful access to telecommunications.
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