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Lebanon's Alfa to Launch VoLTE and LTE-A in 2018 with Nokia 5G-ready AirScale Base Station

4 months ago
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Lebanon's Alfa to Launch VoLTE and LTE-A in 2018 with Nokia 5G-ready AirScale Base Station Image Credit: Nokia

Alfa, Lebanon's first mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom, will partner with Nokia on deploying a 3G and LTE-Advanced Pro network using Nokia AirScale equipment.

According to Nokia, this is the first deployment of its 5G-ready AirScale base station in Lebanon.

In addition, the two companies signed an MoU MWC to further evolve Alfa's network by applying the Nokia AirScale system across 3G, 4G and 5G radio technologies, including CAT16 use cases.

The MoU also aims to leverage IoT, small cells and automation solutions, as well as Nokia's latest network optimization services, innovations and analytical tools to pave the way for next-generation mobile broadband services which Alfa will pioneer in Lebanon. 

Under the AirScale deployment agreement, Alfa will use Nokia's AirScale equipment to deploy a 3G and LTE-Advanced Pro network, which will enable it to introduce new services later in 2018, including VoLTE and LTE-Advanced Pro. It also marks the first time that Nokia's energy-efficient AirScale technology will be used in Alfa's networks.

Nokia's AirScale Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) solution will be used to deploy 3G and LTE-A Pro. The 4G LTE-A utilizes carrier aggregation technology, which brings together spectrum from two frequency bands for improved speed and spectral efficiency. Nokia will combine spectrum from 800 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands for the implementation of LTE-A for Alfa.

The deployment will ensure seamless availability of voice services and align with Alfa's plan to gradually shut down its 2G network and re-farm the spectrum for LTE services. A host of Nokia services will ensure a smooth deployment, including project management, Network Planning and Optimization, Care and training services.

Marwan Hayek, Chairman and CEO, Alfa Lebanon
We are delighted to work with Nokia on this major deployment as part of our aggressive roadmap to install 500 new 3G, LTE and LTE-A sites before end of next year and our digital transformation strategy through which we are eyeing to be among the first operators to commercially launch 5G.

Roger Ghorayeb, Customer Team Head for Growth in West MEA, Nokia 
The introduction of Nokia's 5G-ready AirScale offering will enable Alfa to prepare for the launch of next-generation services. It will also help them to launch services faster, while simultaneously reducing operational expenditure.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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