Huawei, the leading global ICT solutions provider, said it is ready to partner with African governments, operators and private companies to advance economic and social development on the continent through enhancing mobile broadband. Huawei made the announcement at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa conference, which started in Dar es Salaam today.
Huawei stressed its commitment to creating value for communities by collaborating with operators to help them maximize network assets and deploy wireless broadband to the home to enhance Mobile Broadband (MBB) penetration and narrow the digital divide between urban and rural areas. Extending MBB coverage across African countries will help alleviate poverty, improve healthcare and education, and expand financial inclusion.
The GSMA predicts that over the next five years there will be 720 million smartphones in use and up to 60% with MBB connections in African markets. The enhanced connectivity will increase national competitiveness, innovation capacity and overall productivity.
The main challenges the industry faces in expanding coverage in both rural and urban areas include high CAPEX, difficulties in site acquisition, high infrastructure cost and long Return on Investment.
To seize growth opportunities in Africa, Huawei’s approach is to support operators by optimizing total cost of operation, shortening ROI and enhancing site efficiency. Huawei is raising what it calls Three-Star Site Solutions, namely PoleStar, TubeStar, and RuralStar. These scenario-specific solutions will help enable more sites in a simple, fast and cost-efficient manner.
Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei’s Vice President of Wireless Networks Marketing & Head of Global Demand Generation, said: “Besides the optimum network solution for different deployment scenarios in Africa, we identified three business and industry alliances. Number one, content aggregation, for example, video cloud, game cloud and music cloud. Number two, a site ecosystem alliance. Number three, a fiber to the home alliance.”
Rapid deployment of home broadband and indoor digital business will improve both coverage and the user experience by utilizing operators’ mobility resources like 4G, 4.5G and the coming 5G.
“We are very optimistic in terms of opportunities in Africa despite all of the challenges that have been mentioned. So telecos just need to take actions and deploy the right business solutions to capture those opportunities,” Dr. Madkour said.