MTN and Alcatel to boost connectivity in Nigeria

Lynda Saint-Nwafor, MTN Nigeria Chief Technical Officer

French communications giant Alcatel-Lucent, in a joint-venture with MTN, is opening up Nigeria to the benefits of ultra-broadband connectivity by launching a superfast, 100 gigabit-per-second fiber-optic network in Africa’s largest economy.
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 fuelling 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 centre connections. The new network also gives MTN the capacity and flexibility to offer wholesale services to other service providers in the region.
MTN Nigeria is the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria with more than 58 million subscribers with a network covering 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.
‘MTN realised we needed to upgrade our network to meet customer expectations for ultra-broadband connectivity and high reliability within Nigeria’s very competitive marketplace, MTN Nigeria chief technical officer Lynda Saint-Nwafor said in a statement. ‘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,’ she added.

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