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Press Release -- November 22nd, 2017
Source: Ericsson
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Airtel Nigeria partners with Ericsson for Core network upgrade

Airtel has signed a three-year contract with Ericsson to transform its core network in Nigeria
First phase of project including the Ericsson Evolved Packet Core deployed successfully enabling faster mobile broadband
The upgraded Core Network will also provide a foundation for virtualization and network slicing and support new enterprise services
City view - Nigeria
Airtel Nigeria has signed a three-year contract with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings) to modernize and expand its packet core network, paving the way for even faster mobile broadband services and enhanced user experience for its subscribers.

The Ericsson Evolved Packet Core and other range of solutions delivered, will provide increased reliability and scalability to the Airtel network making it even more flexible in meeting the growing demand for new services. Not only will these solutions optimize the uptake of mobile broadband, but it will also support enterprise services and form a secure platform for virtualization and network slicing enabling other advanced services such as 4G Massive IoT and 5G.

Awadhesh Kalia, CTO, Airtel Nigeria says: "As the Smartphone Network, we are constantly investing to ensure that we deliver on our promise of a seamless broadband experience for our customers. With the completion of the first phase of this project, we have already begun to see the transformation in our networks.”

Jonathan Adams, Head of Ericsson South and East Africa says: "As a longstanding partner, we are aware of Airtel’s unyielding commitment to delivering excellent services to their customers. Through this partnership, we will be deploying a comprehensive, reliable and future-proof suite of solutions that offers quicker time to market of new offerings and superior network performance.”

The Evolved Packet Core solution includes the Ericsson Evolved Packet Gateway on the SSR 8000 platform which provides leading performance and split control and user plane operation, as well as the Ericsson SGSN-MME which supports multi-access, GSM, WCDMA, LTE and interworks with Wi-Fi and CDMA.

According to the latest Mobility Report, smartphone subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa are expected to grow to 850 million by 2023 – a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 17% percent.

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