African Telecommunication Union (ATU) and Huawei jointly released White Paper on Rural Coverage in Africa in Barcelona, Spain on the sidelines of the recently ended Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018. The white paper appeals to the stakeholders to improve African rural network coverage and gives conductive proposals. It is predicted that providing coverage for 0.4 billion uncovered population will benefit African society and ecosystem a lot.
Connectivity has the potential to positively impact and transform rural people’s lives and bring benefits in a number of areas, including health, education, financial services, transport, energy, agriculture among others. As ATU indicates, rural connectivity should be addressed as a priority by governments and stakeholders.
In Zimbabwe, their all-round cooperation with all local telecom operators is leading to better signal coverage, more mobile phone users, faster internet access speed and most importantly, affordable communication rates.
The implementations of their solutions to the NetOne Mobile Broadband Project and the TelOne backbone fiber and broadband access project have effectively enabled their strategic partnership to improve the network services in the rural areas of the country.
“ One of numerous successful stories which impressed us on our roads to build a better connected Zimbabwe is the first call that finally made out of Bende Nyanguwi, a small village located about 140 KM away from Mutare, Manicaland in Zimbabwe.
As a 60M lattice tower erected there in Oct, 2015 by Huawei for the parastatal NetOne, it was the first time for people out there to touch the heartbeat of the outside world and also it was the first for over 500 village people to use mobile phones in their village home making their voice heard by the world.”
The white paper analyses African nations’ ICT plan and demographic and geographic features, revealing the political, social, economic and technical challenges of extending rural coverage. Proposals are also given in the whitepaper such as proactive rural coverage standard, healthy business ecosystem and encouraging private investment.
Albert Yang, Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe said
Another excitement was ignited during our installation of the Bulawayo – Victoria Falls microwave backbone link in 2013 to guarantee the UNWTO internet access in Victoria Falls, which has not just greatly improved the experience of the tourists who came to attend the global tourist congress here, but also strongly promote the country’s reputation through the reliable service provision.
In the whitepaper, infrastructure sharing and scenario-oriented solutions are recommended to address cost challenges. Coverage enhanced tower site applies to suburban scenario; cost-efficient solution like site with 2 sectors and simplified infrastructure applies to big villages or towns along the county highways. As for far rural areas, targeted coverage solution with extremely low cost like Huawei RuralStar is recommended.
Abdoulkarim Soumaila, Secretary General of ATU said, ”All people must be able to access the Internet. ATU is privileged to be part of this gathering in view of our role to ensure development of ICTs in Africa. Stakeholders should therefore cooperate and develop smarter strategies.”
“Huawei is committed to connecting unconnected with efficient business solutions”, said Cao Ming, vice president of Huawei Wireless Product Line, “we will keep innovating specialized solutions and cooperate with other stakeholders.”
Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. Our aim is to build a better connected world, acting as a responsible corporate citizen, innovative enabler for the information society, and collaborative contributor to the industry. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 180,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.