Orange Contracts ZTE for Ksh 4 Billion 3G Roll-Out
Orange has awarded listed telecom equipment and network solutions provider, ZTE Corporation, the contract to roll out its state-of-the-art 3G network. ZTE will install 2G/3G equipment on 1,500 Orange Kenya base stations. The ZTE equipment are Software-Defined Radio (SDR) which are superior and will need only a software upgrade whenever Orange would want to roll-out a 4G network.
Software-defined radios are expected by proponents like the SDRForum (now The Wireless Innovation Forum) to become the dominant technology in radio communications.
Orange which claims to be the true leader in data commanding 79% in data market share, says that they expect the 3G network to go live by June 2011. Huawei, Ericsson and ZTE participated in the contract and ZTE won because of what it had to offer.
ZTE SDR based GSM/UMTS solution has been successfully been used in European and Asia-pacific , Africa, Americas operators, such as Telstra HongKong CSL, Cell-C South Africa , Indonesia Telkmosel and Hutch, Taiwan VIBO, Vietnam Viettel and Vinaphone, Montenegro Telenor, Hungary Telenor, Austria Hutch, Belgium KPN, Germany E-PLUS, Portugal Sonaecom and etc
ZTE will utilise its workforce of over 300 engineers who are in Kenya with more than half being Kenyans. The first target will be the high dense areas of Kisumu, Mombasa and Nairobi. Other areas will follow after successful roll-out in the areas. Clients will be able to enjoy speeds of up-to 21Mbps and upgrade to LTE will be possible without alot of investment.
Telkom Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mickael Ghossein said they had invested Kshs. 4 billion in the 3G infrastructure project . Ghossein said the upgrading of the Orange Mobile internet platform will also complement plans to extend the lead in the broadband internet market offered via the Orange Internet Everwyhere3G + modems, ADSL and fibre.
Under the contract signed today at the Norfolk Hotel, ZTE Corporation has undertaken to build and maintain the best 3G network in Kenya for Orange. The infrastructure solutions company will also be obligated to transfer knowledge to Orange staff who will be maintaining the network in the long run.
ZTE Corporation’s Vice President – Africa Zhang Renjun who was present said ZTE would bring specialist expertise in telecommunication, perfected since 1985 when the company was founded.