Vodacom Tanzania has inaugurated a trial of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the Msasani Peninsula area of Dar es Salaam, using equipment supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). The carrier’s managing director Rene Meza is quoted as saying that the cellco is currently holding talks with the national regulator, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), concerning the allocation of spectrum suitable for a commercial LTE launch countrywide. It is understood that Meza is interested in a combination of 800MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, as the experience of other markets shows that such frequencies offer the widest coverage possibilities and most cost-efficient deployment of LTE, coupled with the widest available of supported devices.
Under the trial, NSN has supplied Vodacom Tanzania with its single RAN platform, based on the flexi multiradio base station. The supplied equipment also comprises its evolved packet core platform, including the flexi network server and network gateway and liquid core-based serving GPRS support node. The supplied system allows LTE smartphones to fall back to GSM and 3G networks where 4G coverage is unavailable.