SETAR and Nokia bring 5G to Aruba in end-to-end deal

Network to allow the creation of new services for the island’s 110,000
Full island to be connected by 5G network within two years
Full island to be connected by 5G network within two years


SETAR, the leading communications provider in Aruba, has expanded its current partnership with Nokia with an agreement to provide a full end-to-end 5G network transformation. In a phased approach, the deal will see Nokia upgrading RAN access and modernising elements of the core and data management systems. This is the first end-to-end 5G deal for Nokia in Latin America.

Roland Croes, managing director of SETAR, said: “Nokia has been a long-term partner in SETAR’s modernization program, delivering on our plans to bring Aruba a world-class communications network. Through our partnership to bring 5G to the island, we will ensure Aruba has the highest quality of services and maintains itself as a desirable place to live for our 110,000 residents and a top destination for 2 million tourists a year.”

SETAR is the incumbent communications service provider in Aruba and the leader in all segments of communications, including mobile, cable TV, fixed and broadband. The upgrade to its network will future-proof its infrastructure and offer new business services in  areas like hospitality, healthcare and gaming. By working with Nokia’s end-to-end portfolio, SETAR benefits from accelerated time-to-market and improved total cost of ownership. 

Nokia already works with SETAR to run a 4.5G Pro-based island-wide network using Single RAN Advanced AirScale technology – a flexible network that ensures easy re-farming of spectrum as needed. SETAR 4.5G Pro is the fastest mobile network in Latin America, currently holding 16th and 4th positions in downlink and uplink speeds respectively in the global mobile network ranking (according to Ookla speed ranking). SETAR moved up more than 30 positions in downlink speeds and more than 50 positions in uplink speeds rankings after completing the network modernisation with Nokia in June 2019.

The SETAR network evolution project consists of:

  • Enhancing and evolving SETAR’s network architecture with Centralized RAN and AirScale Cloud Controllers to support more capacity while managing network resources more efficiently
  • Site simplification by deploying Nokia AirScale dual and triple band AirScale RRHs reducing more than 60% site space requirements
  • Activation of advanced features like Carrier aggregation, 256QAM and MIMO4x4 to enable 3 to 4 times higher downlink speeds
  • An upgrade to 5G in the first selected sites using Nokia massive MIMO technology with 64 antennas to enable new mobile broadband uses cases like Fixed Wireless Access, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Tourism 4.0 and Smart Cities
  • The introduction of a shared data layer that increases the efficiency of subscription and authentication services by a factor of three
  • The installation of a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) that delivers a three-fold increase in the efficiency of the mobility and gateway functions   

Osvaldo Di Campli, head of Latin America for Nokia, said: “SETAR has been a trusted partner for years and this new investment is an important step in delivering real 5G to the island. Choosing Nokia as the main vendor for this network means SETAR will benefit from an overall improvement in rollout time, cost of ownership and flexibility in the deployment, and demonstrates the adaptability of our 5G solution for service providers, whatever their size.”

Nokia currently has 55 commercial 5G commercial contracts globally. This end-to-end deal further demonstrates customer confidence in Nokia’s abilities in radio, and beyond, as communications service providers look to future-proof their full networks.

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