When the Ghanaian mobile operator MTN was procuring container-based switching centres, their eyes fell upon Swedish hardware manufacturer Flexenclosure. Not only was the price right, but Swedish quality and production methods were favourable over other manufacturers.
Ghana’s mobile network is expanding fast, and the fastest way to install a switching centre is to have it ready-made somewhere else, and just ship it in, put it in place, and turn on the power. That’s how Ghanaian MTN is rolling out expansions to their countrywide network.
How come the choice fell upon a faraway Swedish manufacturer? MTN Network Operations Manager Max Maxted says:
− We had the requirement to relocate three of our switching centres, and sent out a tender for a containerised solution. The tender went to Ericsson and the manufacturer of the modular containers was Flexenclosure. The equipment has no fancy name, we just call it ’containerised solutions. Sweden is renowned for quality and precision, and we wanted these containers to last for a long time. The standard of workmanship and material is quite high.
− While Flexenclosure works according to our drawing, we prepare the physical site here in Ghana. The enclosures come pre-installed with standardised raised floor, cabling, under-floor power sockets, fire prevention, alarms, UPS, air-conditioners, etc., and the only thing we install on-site are the cooling condensers. All we do then is populate them with our multi-vendor switching and transmission equipment, according to whether we’re building a switching centre or a data centre. Whereas the switching centres are powered by DC voltage, the data centres are fed mainly from a UPS.
− We have already taken delivery of two of the three enclosures and one of them is already installed and commissioned. The Swedes are coming back later to commission the second one.
− We are not talking about small base stations here, but big switching centres of 1,200 m2 equipment floor space. All the modules for the switching centres are pre-fabricated in Sweden with pre-installed material and tested before being delivered to the site where the telecom equipment is installed and then connected to the backbone. The backbone network arrives via optical fibres or microwave links. A microwave link mast is then erected adjacent to the site. The calls are re-routed in the switches and sent back on the backbone network to the appropriate base station.
Max Maxted continues;
− MTN Ghana has over 8 million subscribers in a country with 23.8 million inhabitants and the numbers are rising fast. We have found that building a brick and mortar data centre in this and the adjacent countries is problematic because of faltering building standards, and a containerised solution is a lot quicker. The situation is similar with for example MTN Nigeria and we see this solution as a very positive one. We will continue to go with Flexenclosure in the future. We have had good quality so far, and the quality of the installers who have come from Sweden to install and commission the equipment have maintained a very high standard.
Read more on: www.mtn.com.gh
For more information and photos
Contact Christian Jonsson, GM EMEA Flexenclosure, phone +46 766 488826 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos are available at www.time.se/flexenclosure
Flexenclosure develops, manufactures and delivers turnkey site solutions for the telecom industry. The company’s solutions are designed in cooperation with leading global telecom companies to meet customer requirements. Customers include Ericsson, MTN, Telenor and Zain. Flexenclosure was founded in 1989 and the company is based in Lidköping, Sweden. Since its inception, Flexenclosure has delivered more than 8,000 telecom site solutions to network suppliers, operators and contractors for various roll-out projects throughout the world. Flexenclosure aim to become the world’s leading provider of site solutions for base station equipment, with a focus on low life-cycle cost by optimizing the solution’s energy efficiency and using a combination of renewable energy sources. Read more at www.flexenclosure.com