Bharti Airtel’s Africa arm and Finnish telecoms gear maker Nokia on Monday announced a deal to modernise network in Nairobi with high-speed 4G, and deploy 5G-ready equipment. It will also lay base for migration towards the 5G mobile broadband technology.

As per the three-year deal, the deployment of 4G and 5G-ready network started in June and will cover hundreds of sites. It will include upgrading existing 2G, 3G and 4G radio access network (RAN) coverage in urban, semi-urban, highways, tourist spots and central business districts in Nairobi and the rest of Kenya.

“Nokia’s network infrastructure will also offer Airtel Kenya the option to smoothly transition to 5G when necessary. The upgraded network will deliver enhanced connectivity to customers of Airtel Kenya and access to new, high-speed data services,” Nokia said in a statement.

“We are in the midst of rolling out our network to enhance coverage along with modernisation of our data network that will help us deliver improved, high-speed data services to our customers,” said Airtel Kenya CEO P D Sarma.

He added that this will allow customers seamless coverage enhancing their browsing experience further.

Under the contract, Nokia is supplying Airtel Kenya telecom gears for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including base stations and radio access products.

The improved network will provide higher data speeds using additional 4G spectrum bands and provide access to secure, high-speed and reliable data services, the statement said.

Nokia Head of CEWA Market Unit Rajiv Aggarwal said, “This is an exciting deal in an exciting market. We are proud to supply Airtel Kenya with our comprehensive AirScale portfolio and support the operator with its efforts to deliver the best possible connectivity experiences to end users in Kenya.”