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MWC 2023: Ooredoo upgrades networks across MENA in partnership with Nokia, Huawei

Comms tech providers tasked to modernise parts of leading MENA and Asia operator’s existing networks, including deploying new sites and preparing for potential future launch of 5G

Ooredoo Group has announced a partnership with Nokia that will see its networks enhanced in Algeria and Tunisia, and forged an agreement with Huawei to adopt its technologies and wireless offerings, including 5G, in some of its MENA operating companies.

Under the agreement with Nokia, the operator will upgrade its existing radio access networks (RAN) as well as deploy new sites across Algeria and Tunisia, enabling it to enhance network performance for its customers in those markets and prepare for the potential future launch of 5G services.

Additional upgrades as part of the agreement will be the modernisation of Ooredoo’s IP network, as well as the modernisation and extension of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Tunisia. Both initiatives are designed to result in significantly higher data speeds and capacity, transforming Ooredoo’s networks and enhancing the mobile user experience.

Nokia will also upgrade the existing radio network for Ooredoo Tunisia and expand it with the addition of new radio sites. Upgrades will include deployment of Nokia’s AirScale portfolio, including base stations supporting multiple generations of radio technology from 2G, 3G and 4G to 5G; massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas for urban and wide-area coverage; dual-band Remote Radio Heads (RRH); and the AirScale indoor Radio (ASiR) small-cell service for seamless indoor coverage.

Upgrades and enhancements in Algeria will include an increase of Nokia’s share in Ooredoo Algeria’s network, expanding in new areas, while at Ooredoo Tunisia, development of market share will continue in preparation for a potential 5G commercialisation in the future.

Nokia will also provide its AirFrame and CloudBand Application Manager (CBAM) offering for the network upgrade and deployment in both Algeria and Tunisia. In addition, in Tunisia, Nokia will deploy its 7750 Service Router for the modernisation of Ooredoo’s IP network and its GPON fibre broadband service to upgrade the existing FTTH network, increasing its share in these domains to 100% in Ooredoo Tunisia’s network.

“Our longstanding partnership with Nokia has played a key role in our network evolution and in our capability to achieve this goal, said Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Neama, group regional CEO at Ooredoo. “The renewed partnership will take our network to a new level of transformation, increasing its performance and delivering an upgraded digital experience for our customers in Algeria and Tunisia.”

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Meanwhile, Ooredoo’s partnership with Huawei will see the telco technologies and wireless services in Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and Tunisia, in an effort to upgrade networks and deliver transformational digital experiences for end users.

The deal builds on a five-year strategic global framework agreement between Ooredoo and Huawei signed in 2021, and comes as global 5G deployment accelerates across the industry.

Huawei underpinned Ooredoo’s ICT leader’s role as a pioneer in 5G in the MENA region, supporting the launch of the world’s first commercial 5G network in 2018. The new iteration of partnership means Huawei will build further networks in Kuwait, Oman and Iraq in the Middle East, and cooperate with Ooredoo on wireless equipment services in Tunisia.

“Seeking, establishing and developing partnerships such as that we enjoy with Huawei enables us to quickly and efficiently respond to the ever-growing digital requirements of our industry and markets,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, deputy group chief executive officer at Ooredoo.

“This new agreement reflects our committed pursuit of advanced technologies and innovative solutions, in order to enable us to offer our customers an upgraded, ever-improving digital experience.”

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