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Press Release -- October 10th, 2014
Source: Alcatel-Lucent
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Alcatel-Lucent and MTN Nigeria to boost connectivity in Africa’s most populous nation with ultra-broadband 100G fiber-optic data network

Network transformation will benefit a country with 275 mobile subscribers for every landline with an economy that relies on fast, dependable, high-capacity mobile broadband access

Paris, October 10, 2014

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is opening up Africa’s most populous nation to the benefits of ultra-broadband connectivity by launching a superfast, 100 gigabit-per-second fiber-optic network with MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of Dubai-based MTN Group and the leading service provider in Africa.

MTN Nigeria, which covers more than almost 90 percent of Nigeria’s land mass, will deploy a 100G network that re-uses existing 10G optical assets thereby preserving MTN past investments while ensuring future proof and state of art solution.

Nigeria’s growing economy is fueling a proliferation of mobile subscribers, which number about 275 to every one landline in the country.  As a result, Nigeria has a significant need for reliable, mobile broadband access to support growing demand for bandwidth hungry services such as streaming video plus the ever-increasing need from enterprises for storage and data center connections. The new network also gives MTN the capacity and flexibility to offer wholesale services to other service providers in the region.

Key Facts:

  • MTN Nigeria is the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, and West Africa region with more than 58 million subscribers and also is the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group offering world-class cellular network access and business solutions to more than 210 million subscribers in 22  countries across Africa and the Middle East.
  • MTN Nigeria’s network covers 88.8 percent of the country’s land mass giving 86.2 percent of the population access to mobile services.
  • Alcatel-Lucent is supporting MTN Nigeria’s rapid growth in mobile subscribers by building a 100G DWDM/OTN network using Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform, a family of equipment that has been designed according to the latest international SD-FEC zero touch photonics and coherent technology.

Alcatel-Lucent Agile Optical Networking combines WDM, OTN, and GMPLS/ASON control plane intelligence to assure scalable, versatile, reliable and efficient transport at 100G and beyond.

Quotes:  

Lynda Saint-Nwafor, CTO of MTN Nigeria said:  “MTN realized we needed to upgrade our network to meet customer expectations for ultra-broadband connectivity and high reliability within Nigeria’s very competitive marketplace.  We wanted a state of the art solution that met three main criteria: increased network reliability, a high degree of scalability to prepare the network for 400G and beyond, and preservation of our existing 10G investment.  Alcatel-Lucent’s demonstrations showed that they could meet all of our criteria and we look forward to deploying the network overlay in 2014.”

Hatim Zougari, Country Senior Officer oof Alcatel-Lucent in Nigeria, said: “We knew that MTN’s top priority was to provide reliability to their customers but they also wanted to offer ultra-broadband and they wanted to retain usefulness of as much of their legacy network as possible. We were able to show that we can give them a cost-effective solution that accomplishes all of their goals in a way that no one else could.”

About MTN Nigeria: MTN Nigeria is part of the MTN Group, Africa's leading cellular telecommunications company. On May 16, 2001, MTN became the first GSM network to make a call following the globally lauded Nigerian GSM auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission earlier in the year. Thereafter the company launched full commercial operations beginning with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. MTN paid $285m for one of four GSM licenses in Nigeria in January 2001. To date, in excess of US$12 billion has been invested building mobile telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria. Since launch in August 2001, MTN has steadily deployed its services across Nigeria. It now provides services in 223 cities and towns, more than 10,000 villages and communities and a growing number of highways across the country, spanning the 36 states of the Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Many of these villages and communities are being connected to the world of telecommunications for the first time ever. The company's digital microwave transmission backbone, the 3,400 Kilometre Y'elloBahn was commissioned by President Olusegun Obasanjo in January 2003 and is reputed to be the most extensive digital microwave transmission infrastructure in all of Africa. The Y'elloBahn has significantly helped to enhance call quality on MTN network.

With over 58 million subscribers, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTNN) provides cellular network access and ICT solutions to millions of Nigerians, connecting whole communities with each other and with the rest of the world. It is also the largest subsidiary in the MTN Group – a multinational telecommunications group offering world-class cellular network access and business solutions to over 210 million subscribers in 22 countries across Africa and the Middle East.  For more information please visit: http://www.mtnonline.com/

MTN Press contact:

Fundo Aina, PR and Protocol Manager

M: +234 8032004168

Email : funsoa@mtnnigeria.net

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