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 mobile phones now active 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 by at least 15 times mainly driven by applications such as video, IoT, and by connecting the continents 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 added that Huawei’s mobile broadband strategy focuses on enhancing the value of spectrum and sites assets through the adoption of innovative air interface features, constructing 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 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 rollout cost savings of up to 75%.
“Wireless broadband access to households in Africa is a fundamental component to a countries’ National Broadband Plans (NBP). Connecting people in Africa remains a top priority. Broadband networks are the foundation of connectivity and user experience, while focusing on the network, we must, at the same time, focus on the user experience and provide valued services that ensure the happiness, safety and productivity of African people.” said Dr. Mohamed Madkour.
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 spectrums available to improve mobile connectivity in the region. Regulators should also put together policies to ease site construction and the acquisition process.