Huawei unveils strategy for MBB connectivity opportunities in Africa

Huawei Technologies
28 Jul 2016

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Huawei has unveiled its MBB 2020 Strategy for Africa, outlining a new mobile broadband blueprint for the next five years for a Better Connected Africa.

During the opening day of the GSM Association’s Mobile 360-Africa Event, Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei’s vice president of wireless networks marketing and head of Global Demand Generation said that 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,” he said. “From now until 2020, the mobile broadband [MBB] data traffic in Africa is expected to increase at least 15 fold, mainly driven by applications such as video and 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.”

Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei’s Vice President of Wireless Networks Marketing & Head of Global Demand Generation, outlined Huawei’s MBB (Mobile Broadband) 2020 Strategy for Africa

Dr. Mohamed Madkour said that Huawei’s mobile broadband strategy focuses on enhancing the value of spectrum and site assets through adoption of innovative air interface features, constructing an agile network architecture, and utilizing a user experience-based operational model. This focus is coupled with enabling multiple services in the same module beyond just consumer-based services.

According to the 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 Madkour 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.

“Wireless broadband access to households in Africa is a fundamental component to countries’ National Broadband Plans [NBP],” he said.

Connecting people in Africa remains a top priority, Dr. Mohamed Madkour continued. “The broadband network is the foundation of connectivity and user experience, but while focusing on the network, we must at the same time focus on the user experience and 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. Dr. Mohamed Madkour 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.

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