Alfa, the first Lebanese mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom, and Nokia have launched the country’s first 4G LTE-Advanced network, as part of an agreement signed between the two companies.
The network enables Alfa to offer its subscribers significantly higher download speeds of up to 262.5 Mbits/sec for accessing high-definition video and other data-intensive applications.
Roger Ghorayeb, Nokia’s customer team head for growth west ME, comments: “This deployment lets Alfa provide a high-quality enhanced mobile broadband experience over its LTE network. We are excited about the foundation this builds for Nokia and Alfa, and the opportunities for future work with our partner as it evolves its network for 5G and IoT capabilities in smart Lebanese cities.”
An Alfa store in Lebanon
The 4G LTE-A network implementation is enabled by carrier aggregation technology, which combines two frequencies in order to significantly improve throughput and spectral efficiency. For Alfa, Nokia combined 20 MHz on the 1800 MHz frequency band with 15 MHz on the 800 MHz band.
With data subscribers exceeding 74% of Alfa’s subscriber base, the deployment of Nokia’s carrier aggregation technology will allow the operator to offer innovative and high-definition services.
Alfa Chairman and CEO Marwan Hayek says: “With the unprecedented surge in data traffic over the Alfa network to 15,000 terabytes per year, the deployment of 4G LTE-A across Lebanon will not only advance the quality of our 4G network but will also help us quickly move toward next-generation technologies like 5G, which is a top priority for us to maintain our technology innovation leadership. We are extremely satisfied with Nokia’s efficient implementation of the project.”
This deployment is a crucial step that will also help Alfa take advantage of opportunities emerging from 5G and IoT technology. The two companies earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 5G to explore possibilities for the Alfa network and pave the way for Alfa to install its first 5G site in Lebanon in 2018.
These agreements are part of the Lebanese Ministry of Telecommunications’ National 2020 Digital Telecom Vision to upgrade the country’s Internet infrastructure and deploy 4G LTE-A across the Lebanese territory.