21 September 2020 | Melanie Mingas
Operator Azercell has completed a 4G expansion project with Nokia that marks the first large-scale deployment of base stations outside of Azerbaijan’s capital city.
Nokia deployed its AirScale 4G base stations at more than 1,400 sites in the first large-scale deployment outside of Baku (pictured).
Nokia’s AirScale Radio Access solutions will provide Azercell with high-speed mobile connectivity to cater for increased demand, as well as providing a clear 5G migration path for the future. Nokia was the sole supplier in this deal and will replace the former 4G provider in developing the network further.
The deal also included Nokia’s services for network design, deployment and optimisation. Installation began at the end of 2018 and was completed in July 2020.
Marat Hamidov, director of network technology department at Azercell, said: “With more than five million customers, Azercell has improved and expanded its 4G network across the country with Nokia to provide its population with equal technological opportunities and the latest innovations through its high-speed Internet. It is worth mentioning that a European benchmarking test, conducted by ‘systemics’ in Azerbaijan, confirmed that Azercell provided the highest quality of 4G services in all the regions of the country. We look forward to a long partnership with Nokia.”
Deploying both hardware and software, Nokia’s NetAct Cloud network management system was also used in the project.
Cloud-agnostic, it is deployed on the same data centre platforms as other IT and telco systems for increased agility and lower operational costs.
Mikko Lavanti, market unit head, Central East and Central Asia at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to support Azercell in their efforts to deploy nationwide 4G connectivity. A high-performing 4G network is absolutely fundamental, and with our AirScale solution, we also offer a simple upgrade to the next technological era when Azercell is ready. I look forward to developing a long-standing and close-working partnership with Azercell and helping in its continued efforts to deliver best-in-class connectivity to subscribers across the country.”