Huawei Unveils Its Strategy for MBB Connectivity Opportunities in Africa

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Huawei unveiled its MBB 2020 Strategy for Africa, during the opening day of the GSMA Mobile 360-Africa Event, outlining a new mobile broadband blueprint for the next five years for a Better Connected Africa.

Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei’s vice President of Wireless Networks marketing & Head of Global Demand Generation, said: “Africa has experienced a massive boom in mobile phone access with more than 500 million active mobile phones across the continent. Africa’s Mobile Internet uptake continues to grow at an alarming rate, putting the continent at the heart of the broadband revolution to improve agriculture, banking, healthcare, education and other sectors.

“From now until 2020, the MBB data traffic in Africa is expected to increase at least 15-fold, mainly driven by applications such as video, IoT and by connecting the unconnected population.
“Carrying this traffic with the needed service experience requires advanced technology and business model innovation, as well as cross-industry collaboration.” Mohamed added that Huawei’s mobile broadband strategy focuses on enhancing the value of spectrum and sites assets through adoption of innovative air interface features constructing agile network architecture, and utilizing user experience-based operational models. This focus is coupled with enabling multiple services in the same module beyond just consumer-based services.

According to ITU, an estimated 61% of households in Africa still do not have Internet access. Challenges remain in the last mile of connectivity, with high fixed line engineering installation costs, difficult site access due to privately-owned land and lengthy project deployment. Leveraging existing network and site architecture, Dr. Mohamed explained how Huawei’s WTTx (Wireless To The x) solution can quickly make broadband access possible to unconnected households, providing up to 75% in rollout cost savings. He added: “Wireless broadband access to households in Africa is a fundamental component to countries’ National Broadband Plans (NBP).”

“Connecting people in Africa remains a top priority,” Dr. Mohamed said. “Broadband is the foundation of connectivity and user experience; while focusing on the network, we must, at the same time, focus on the user experience and to provide valued services that ensure happiness, safety and productivity of African people.”

The executive said mobile broadband can play a very significant role to narrow the digital divide. Mohamed called on regulators in Africa to quickly make additional spectrum available to improve mobile connectivity in the region. Regulators also should put together policies to ease site construction and acquisition process.