MTN Uganda to improve network automation with new partnership

In efforts to provide better internet connectivity, plans for MTN Uganda to improve network automation are in progress as it signed an agreement with several members of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). This agreement will see the telecom company use TIP’s Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway (DCSG) to ultimately provide better connectivity for customers.

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MTN Uganda is working towards enabling seamless network transition to 5G through this agreement which will be the first type of network deployment in Africa allowing MTN to evolve its Transport Network. The transport Network transmits data traffic between points within a network that enable access to the internet.

TIP partners with MTN Uganda to improve network automation

MTN Uganda launched the first 5G standalone network in East Africa in January last year in partnership with ZTE. The advance to 5G would lead to improved data performance and provide support for a wide range of applications. 5G will speed up the rate of data transfer by 100 times or more.

Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSGs) ultimately provide connectivity between (Mobile sites and Enterprises) and the core network, which is what users access to connect to the internet. DCSG at these cell sites will see the hardware and software de-coupled, allowing greater flexibility in upgrading software and configuration. Typically, cell site hardware and software are aggregated, requiring wholesale replacement to upgrade the transport network.

Aviat Networks will oversee the rollout of this DCSG solution, which will run on Edgecore Hardware and be powered by ADVA’s Network Operating Software (NOS). This solution in Uganda is a leader in speeding connectivity in Africa, allowing for faster network roll-out to expand connectivity, a more stable and faster network with lower latency, and offering users best-in-class internet connectivity.

Because there have been multiple complaints about internet connectivity, with customers citing unreliable networks and sluggish internet connectivity as major roadblocks to online use. This could be a viable option for resolving the problem.

Ali Monzer, the Chief Informer Officer at MTN Uganda said, “We are very excited about the potential of the DCSG solution. It promises to broaden our supplier market, expedite the development of new features, reduce capital expenditure, improve operational efficiencies through easier scalable and more features open networking ecosystem.”

“To advance our service offering to our subscribers we continue to innovate and evolve our networks to support the increasing demand of higher capacity. In collaborating with the Telecom Infra Project community partners, we are not only able to innovate as a community, but also deploy leading technologies such as the DCSG to advance our network automation objectives,” he further explained.

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“This large-scale deployment of the DCSG in MTN Uganda is testament to our commitment to accelerate automation of MTN’s Transport Network,” says Lloyd Mphahlele, MTN Group General Manager responsible for the Transport Network.

“We are delighted to work with MTN on their network evolution journey. As Aviat, we are committed to bring innovation and simplicity to MTN’s network. In collaboration with our TIP community partners Adva and Edgecore, the MTN Uganda network will be a showcase operation of automated, intelligent, and always on network. A real network of the future” says Peter Smith, CEO of Aviat Networks.

“TIP’s DCSG will accelerate MTN in its evolution towards a more open disaggregated, standard-based transport network that will meet future customer needs and enable a more simplified, scalable, and agile network operating model. This collaboration with MTN is one more example of the role TIP is playing as a vehicle to accelerate testing and deployment of open network solutions in Africa, and as a catalyst for innovation. The solution provided by ADVA and Edgecore has gone through a lab validation as part of the TIP process to ensure its maturity,” says David Hutton, TIP’s Chief Engineer.

This partnership between MTN Uganda and Telecom Infra Project will create a solution through open, standard-based network technologies to target several opportunities in operators’ IP aggregation networks like overall deployment cost reductions and more operational efficiencies.

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