Ericsson won its first LTE managed services contract in sub-Saharan Africa with a deal to operate Smile Communications’ 4G networks in four countries in the region.

The Sweden-based infrastructure provider won a five-year deal to manage the operation and maintenance of Smile’s commercial LTE networks in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, and a forthcoming network in Democratic Republic of Congo that is scheduled to go live in July.

The deal covers network operation, performance and optimisation, along with field services and management of spare parts. Smile Communications said the agreement enables it to focus on providing high levels of customer service and experience in the markets.

Tom Allen, Group COO at the operator, said the companies are “long term partners focused on delivering on the

Under the terms of a five-year multi-country managed services agreement, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) will manage Smile Communications’ 4G/LTE networks across all operations. This is the first 4G/LTE managed services contract signed in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ericsson will provide a fully managed end-to-end service that includes network operations, performance, optimization, field support and maintenance for Smile’s LTE networks in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and – later – in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Tom Allen, Group COO of Smile Communications says: “We regard Ericsson as more than a vendor, we are long term partners focused on delivering on the Smile promise to be the broadband provider of choice in Africa and to ensure that our customers fully benefit from the internet world.”

This managed services contract extends Ericsson’s relationship with Smile in Nigeria, where Ericsson is Smile’s sole vendor for 4G networks. The agreement also leverages Ericsson’s more than 15 years of experience in managing multi-vendor, multi-technology networks in Tanzania, Uganda and the DRC.

Fredrik Jejdling, President Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa says: “We are excited to be delivering this service to Smile as it further extends our partnership with the operator in the region. Bringing with us our expertise as global HSPA and LTE leaders, this partnership enables Smile Communications to focus even more on the core business of delivering superior products and services that cater to the needs of its subscribers, whilst at the same time improving operational efficiency.”

Ericsson is a global leader in telecommunications managed services, managing networks for multiple operators worldwide via a combination of global and local network operations centers. Ericsson employs 66,000 services professionals in 180 countries, and provides managed services for networks that serve more than 1 billion subscribers.

In addition, Ericsson is present today in all high-traffic LTE markets including US, Japan, and South Korea, and is ranked first for handling the most global LTE traffic. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks.

Press Release