Ericsson and Tanzanian mobile network operator Tigo have partnered to launch the first of a series of rural pilot tower sites to provide mobile broadband coverage in Chiwale and Mingumbi in Lindi Mtwara region, in rural Tanzania.

The partnership is part of a pilot infrastructure-sharing partnership brokered by the GSMA with Tigo, the government of Tanzania, and two other major mobile network operators to connect the over 13 million underserved individuals living in rural parts of the country.

According to Jean-Claude Geha, Head of Region Sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson: “Our partnerships and solutions seek to bring the benefits of mobile technology to everyone in creating a more inclusive and sustainable world.With Tigo,we delivered the most sustainable and efficient mobile broadband solution capturing the needs of these specific, rural sites.”

Sharing infrastructure and engaging the government on reduced taxes in these regions allows operators to reduce the cost of deploying mobile broadband networks in places where it was previously not viable to do so.

Tigo and Ericsson have set the pace in this partnership by launching the first active site based on the new generation multi-standard Ericsson Radio System.The suite of solutions provides the capabilities needed to reduce the total cost of ownership by up to 40 percent when rolling out Ericsson’s total site solution for mobile broadband. This makes investments viable in markets with low average revenue per user.

The energy-efficient suites of solutions will also enable Tigo and their roaming partners to seamlessly identify underserved communities in the region, making it faster to introduce or improve the mobile broadband experience of their subscribers in these rural communities. This is the first commercial launch of this solution in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Jerome Albou, Chief Technical and IT Officer, Tigo Tanzania, says: “At Tigo, it is our mission to lead the adoption of the internet and a digital lifestyle in Tanzania. Access to mobile broadband will open these rural communities to previously elusive services such as mobile money, e-health, e-education and e-government, thereby transforming the way people play, learn and do business forever.”

The new suite of solutions consists of:Ericsson Site Manager software paired with Ericsson Site Controller, Radio 2219, Antenna Integrated Radio, AIR 2488, MINI-LINK 6363, MINI-LINK 6651 indoor unit and new additions to the Ericsson Enclosure family. It also includes new software enhancements to both the Zero Touch WCDMA and Flow of Users solutions.