AFRICAN Telecommunication Union (ATU) and Huawei jointly released a White Paper on Rural Coverage in Africa which appeals to the stakeholders to improve African rural network coverage and gives conductive proposals. The paper was released in Barcelona, Spain on the sidelines of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 and comes amid forecasts providing coverage for 0,4 billion uncovered population will benefit African society and ecosystem a lot.
The two partners said 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.
ATU said rural connectivity should be addressed as a priority by governments and stakeholders.
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 white-paper such as proactive rural coverage standard, healthy business ecosystem and encouraging private investment.
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 two 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.
“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 co-operate and develop smarter strategies,” ATU secretary general Abdoulkarim Soumaila said.
Huawei Wireless product line vice president Cao Ming said; “Huawei is committed to connecting unconnected with efficient business solutions. We will keep innovating specialised solutions and cooperate with other stakeholders.”
Huawei Technologies Zimbabwe managing director Albert Yang said his company’s all-round cooperation with all local telecom operators in Zimbabwe leads to better signal coverage, more mobile phone users, faster internet access speed and most importantly, affordable communication rates.
“The implementations of our solutions to the NetOne Mobile Broadband Project and the TelOne backbone fiber and broadband access project have effectively enabled our strategy partners to improve the network services in the rural areas of the country.
“One of the numerous successful stories 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,” Yang said.
“People there got used to the life of isolation and less modernization. As a 60M lattice tower erected there in Oct, 2015 by Huawei for the parastatal NetOne, it is the first time people there touch the heartbeat of the outside world and also it was the first over 500 village people get started to use mobile phones in their village home to make their voice heard by the world,” he added.
Hauwei in 2013 installed the Bulawayo – Victoria Falls microwave backbone link 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.