Alfa

Mobile operator Alfa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nokia to improve its network coverage, quality of voice and ultra-broadband services.

The MoU allows Orascom Telecom, manager of Alfa, to deploy Nokia’s 3G and 5G-ready AirScale Single Radio Access Network (SRAN) equipment to launch VoLTE and LTE-A services before year end.

The agreement marks the first time Nokia’s 3G, 4G and 5G radio technologies will be deployed in Lebanon.

The AirScale SRAN combines two spectrums from different frequency bands to improve network efficiency and speed.

Nokia will combine spectrum from 800 MHz and 1800 MHz frequency bands for the implementation of LTE-A for Alfa. This will enable Alfa to gradually shut down its 2G network.

Under the MoU, Nokia will provide project management, training services and network planning and optimisation services.

Marwan Hayek, Chairman and CEO at Alfa Lebanon, said: "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. We are confident that Nokia's proven expertise will help us maintain our leadership position and enable IoT, as well as continue to provide world-class quality of services to our subscribers."

Roger Ghorayeb, customer team head for growth in West MEA at Nokia, said: "We are committed to helping Alfa and other service providers transform their networks to meet surging demand for mobile data. 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."