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Technology (244)

Believe In The Power Of Technology - Says Huawei Vice-President Catherine Chen ’

Technology holds significant benefits for humanity, and digital technology can be an indispensable tool for helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This was the view of Huawei senior vice president and board member Catherine Chen, in her keynote speech at the recent Connected for Shared Prosperity Forum in Shanghai. 

Chen said technology could be an engine for human progress, and called on individuals and businesses to “think big and act small”, while reiterating her support of the SDGs and building a green, innovative and inclusive world. 

Chen said it was essential that people reach agreement around technology, which held significant potential for achieving development goals. 

“Large social changes tend to happen in lockstep with breakthroughs in science and technology. But today, technological advancements are hyped and politicised – as has sometimes been the case with 5G.” 

Chen pointed out that 5G was in fact a standardised technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency, and broad connectivity, which could transform traditional industries and benefit all. 

“Every day, consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.” 

Chen said that while there was always the danger that a new technology could be abused, rules could be established to manage technological risks. 

“Many people are already hard at work creating governance rules for cyber security, privacy protection, and trusted AI that will keep us safe. For the rest of us, it’s time to be confident and open to technological development.” 

Chen said technology was most effective when it created value for all, and that consensus could be built gradually so that technological advancement could continue. 

“By focusing on the limited common understanding we have right now and what resources are actually available, we can drive progress step by step,” she said. “Huawei has always supported technological advancement. We believe digital tech benefits humanity, and can help the UN achieve its SDGs.” 

Chen described how Huawei was already deploying digital solutions to empower people and meet UN development goals – especially the goals of innovation, reduced inequality and quality education. 

In South Africa, for instance, Huawei, non-profit organization Click Foundation and network provider rain teamed up to connect more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the Internet. The goal is to boost reading comprehension skills and close the digital gap through technology. 

In Kenya, Huawei partnered to build Digitrucks, mobile, solar-powered classrooms that bring digital skills to remote, underserved communities. Equipped with 20 laptops, 20 VR headsets, and built in Wi-Fi, each DigiTruck is a temporary digital school that provides free classes, resources, and materials. 

Chen also described how Huawei Smart PV solution being used in more than 60 countries was already helping to achieve SDGs, and had reduced carbon emissions by 148 million tons. 

“This is the equivalent of planting more than 200 million trees. In Ethiopia alone, we have helped our customers deploy more than 400 solar power stations, reducing carbon emissions by 2 850 tons. In China, we have also helped build the world's largest solar stations, dedicated to agriculture and fishing in Ningxia and Shandong provinces.” 

Huawei and UNESCO have also partnered to launch the Open Schools programme to help schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana improve their digital skills through online education. 

“In all these examples every single connection, every gram of emissions reduced, every watt of electricity saved, could not have been achieved without small advances in tech,” said Chen.

 

“This is the value that tech brings to the world.”

Huawei Uganda Announces A New Free Virtual Artificial Intelligence Study To Accelerate Training & Upskilling Of ICT Professionals

Huawei Uganda has today announced a new free Artificial Intelligence (AI) study aimed at accelerating training and upskilling Uganda’s ICT professionals with the latest industry technologies.

The new Artificial Intelligence course is available at the Huawei Uganda ICT academy online website https://e.huawei.com/en/talent/#/news/details?consultationId=743  and classes shall begin today 22nd February 2021 for all those interested to study.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) course is an addition to the already existing Huawei professional certification path which includes on-demand ICT industry courses like Routing and Switching, Cloud computing, wireless, network security, Big Data, Data Communications, among others.

To date, Huawei has trained approximately 4,000 Ugandan ICT Professionals and certified over 1,300 under its ICT Academies hosted by Makerere, Kyambogo, Nkozi, Gulu, Muni, and Mbarara, among other universities.

Initial ICT Academy training on courses under the Huawei professional certification path started in 2019, and continued in 2020 with new virtual trainings due to the COVID19 Pandemic. In 2021, the addition of AI under the Huawei Certified Network Associate (HCNA) path will upskill more ICT professionals with a detailed pool of course units necessary for deep learning.

The HCNA-AI course uses a mainstream TensorFlow framework and supports Keras (a high-level neural network API, and deep learning framework written in Python) widely used, powerful, and has excellent compatibility necessary for fast learning.

Learning material from the course involves basic mathematics and machine learning which will guide students to gradually understand all related techniques of deep learning such as, convolutional neural networks, cyclic neural networks, regularization and optimizers.

At a later point in the course, deep learning in application areas such as, computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing will be introduced to contextualize all AI use cases in the world.

Additionally, the HCNA-AI course provides a convenient platform with an anytime learning mode which allows students to set a custom learning pace. More so, a free simulation environment can be accessed on an Elastic Cloud Server (ECS) hosted on the Huawei Public Cloud, and then installed according to the course manual to help students emulate real-world AI use cases.

The installed environment has a custom public IP address, username and password allowing students to login to the lab environment, and learn anytime from anywhere by simply having an active internet connection.

Also, the HCNA-AI program offers programming exercises which include an image recognition battle, a speech recognition contest, and human–machine dialogue so that students can easily emulate what they learn and implement them through real-world applications.

While unveiling the new HCNA-AI certification structure, Huawei Uganda’s Public Relations Director Gaojian noted that the AI engineering certification path offers fundamental knowledge and provides industry-specific applications that can be used in line with other technologies including 5G, Internet of Things (IOT), among others.

On why Huawei has introduced the HCNA-AI certification study in Uganda, Gaojian said that, “It is to train and certify engineers who can use algorithms, such as machine learning and deep learning algorithms, to design and develop AI products and solutions and make improvement through innovation. Such engineers are competent for sales, marketing, product manager, project management, technical support, and other AI positions.”

So, similar to all Huawei ICT Academy certification paths, HCNA-AI students will be able to participate in the annual Huawei ICT competition and the Huawei ICT Job Fair from where they can showcase their talents against the world’s best in national, regional and global rounds.

Henceforth, as Huawei aims at building a sound talent ecosystem by outputting high quality ICT talent to the ICT industry through its global certification paths, upskilled ICT professionals in the end continue to help in talent development and innovations bridging a new wave of Job creators against Job seekers in Uganda.

Huawei Ceo Ren Zhengfei Vows Never To Give Up The Ideal Of Globalization

Huawei’s CEO Ren Zhengfei has pledged to stick to a globalization strategy despite external pressure. He has called on the new US administration to come up with more open policies that are in the interests of US companies and the US economy as a whole. 

These are the first public remarks the founder of Huawei has made since the change of the US administration. Ren was speaking during a press briefing in Taiyuan, the capital city of China’s northern Shanxi province, after launching the Intelligent Mining Innovation Lab. 

“Trade benefits both sides. Allowing US companies to supply goods to Chinese customers is conducive to their own financial performance. If Huawei's production capacity expands, US companies could us sell more. It's a win-win situation. I believe the new administration will weigh these interests as they consider their policies,” said Ren. 

Ren stated that Huawei creates value to the whole ecosystem and wider economy. He cited the example that Huawei has built 5G networks in many cities in Europe, Asia and Middle East, and its networks in Europe top global network performance tests, benefiting all the users on those networks. 

“The fact high-end users can use the iPhone 12 to its fullest effect on our 5G networks in Europe is a testament to the quality of our networks,” said Ren. 

“As humanity keeps making progress, no company can develop a globalized industry alone. It requires concerted efforts around the world,” Ren added. 

The United States government has been campaigning against Huawei in the past two years alleging Huawei’s equipment could be used to spy on Americans, without presenting any evidence. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claims, and few other countries have given in to US pressure, with most focusing on ensuring all vendors meet technical standards to security. 

Ren said he is now even more confident about Huawei's survival than he was. “We have found new and more ways to overcome our challenges. Our sales revenue and profits in 2020 were higher than the previous years,” Ren told journalists. 

Enabling digital transformation for industries 

Ren said new strategies include research and development and growing deeper roots in vertical industries around the world to enable the digital transformation with its Huawei’s core ICT capabilities. Ren said the Intelligent Mining Innovation Lab would result in better services for mines with 5G.

“By supporting the mining industry, we can grow our business and support more efficient and safer production in mines. We can also enable coal mine workers to ‘wear suits and ties’ at work” Ren said. “In the 5G era, connecting businesses is the main goal. There are many industries that we are not too familiar with, like airports, ports, coal mining, iron and steel production, automotive manufacturing, and aircraft manufacturing. That's why we built joint labs to learn more about the needs of these industries.” 

Huawei’s business results for the first nine months of the year 2020 showed that, revenue totaled 671.3 billion yuan ($98.57 billion), up 9.9% from that of the same period in 2019. 

“We'll continue serving our customers well by creating more value for them. We want them to have lasting faith in us, and we hope that they won't sway because of political pressure,” concluded Ren.

 

Nofeka Ranked Number 2 Online Retailer In Uganda

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

After just 7 months since local online retailer Nofeka launched (Read about and trade with Nofeka HERE https://nofeka.ug/) its operations, the new e-commerce company has been named the number 2  online retailer in Uganda by top web traffic ranking site Alexa.com as of 21st December 2020.

With close to 500 orders fully delivered having come through Nofeka's website and its WhatsApp platform, this e-commerce retailer remains in close contention for the top spot of the e-commerce retailer market on Uganda currently occupied by Jumia.

Daniel Kiyega the company’s founder and CEO says they have managed to achieve this feat in such a short time because of their reliability and trust which stems from the retailer’s vision which is to become the most trusted and reliable e-commerce website in Uganda and beyond.

In regard to websites with the highest number of visitors in Uganda online retailer Nofeka came number 21 making the top 30 of most visited sites on Uganda just slightly over half a year since it started operations.

Kiyega promises to build on this great momentum to grow this site  to serve millions of customers in Uganda as beyond in the coming years.

I’m regard to this festive season, “We shall be serving customers through out the holidays with special discounts and free delivery on our selected organic food items plus discounts on other assorted products” Kiyega said.

Nofeka has gained a considerable edge over other players in the local e-commerce market by ensuring customers first of all get exactly what they ordered for and also don’t lose any money as they transact using their platform. “it is this transparency and steadfastness that has brought us this far and will take us to the next level ahead of our competitors.”

The young online retailer still faces challenges of low levels of adaptation to online retail and purchases among prospective customers something Kiyega believes will change as their campaigns to reach out to and enlighten more customers gain traction in the coming months.

“Our reach is growing organically and with an increase in sponsored adverts across various online platforms we expect even greater sales conversions in the near future as our brand visibility and trust among customers grows.”

 

From Survive To Thrive, Working Together For A Better Africa

For most of us, 2020 has been a year of almost dramatic, almost traumatic change. As individuals, our lives have been transformed; as businesses, our operating models have been revolutionised; and as a society, we have been shaken to the core. 

Fortunately, many of the technologies that have helped us through the worst of the pandemic and the lockdown, hold the key to success and prosperity in the post-lockdown era. 

The new ways of interaction that emerged this year – characterised by remote work, distance education, remote healthcare, online shopping and mobile money – will define how society works in future. 

Across the economy the pace of change is already enormous. Last week, when we launched a 5G lab in Wits University, Professor Adam Habib, the Wits vice-chancellor told us how Wits had moved completely online within three weeks during the pandemic– a process that was previously planned to take three years. 

The move online has happened across society – not only in education but in workplaces, in retail as well as in entertainment – and this move will be permanent. This explains why data traffic soared by more than 40% while digital services boomed across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

African governments have responded quickly to the demand, releasing temporary spectrums and making policy recommendations, as the President’s 4IR commission has done in South Africa. 

Some of these policy moves – recently announced by minister of communications, telecommunications and postal services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams – have included a commitment to invest in human capital, establishing an artificial intelligence institute, setting up a platform for advanced manufacturing and supporting data security to enable innovation. 

Policy moves such as these are to be encouraged, as they open the door for ICT companies to make an ever greater contribution to social-economic development. 

Government can further enable ICT-led development through policies to ensure rapid deployment of infrastructure, lower the cost of spectrum, and provide tax relief to make smartphones more affordable. 

Another strategy for building a better Africa through ICT is to invest in digital skills. According to GSMA, only 28% of Africa’s 1.3 billion citizens subscribe to the mobile internet, compared to the global average of 48%. 

Connectivity is not just about coverage and speed, but also usage and inclusion. We need to invest more in digital skills for people, to digitally empower them, so that they can use digital technologies not only for consuming others’ ideas but also to develop their own. 

For ICT to better play its role as growth accelerator and social equalizer, we need to connect more households and businesses, especially SMEs, and upgrade the digital infrastructure to better meet the increasing demands for online services. 

At Huawei we are deeply conscious of our responsibility in this regard, and we are constantly investing skills and infrastructure to firstly provide the networks and secondly give our people the ability to use them for their own upliftment.  

We aim to bring digital to every person, home and organisation for a fully connected, intelligent world. In South Africa, one way we’ve been doing this is by employing Huawei’s AI to help customers predict and manage networks, improving operations efficiency by more than 30%. 

In Angola, our digital power solutions have brought down energy costs at base stations by as much as 70%, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of operators. 

Our software solutions can increase the efficiency of broadband connections to premises by 30% while lowering costs by 40%, which could bring more African households and businesses online. 

In the Cloud and AI domain, Huawei’s newly launched South African local data centres provide public cloud services in South Africa and the whole continent. 

Huawei ICT Academies have been set up in more than 400 top universities in 17 African countries, producing more than 50 000 certified graduates. 

Ours is just one component of what must be a society-wide movement to relaunch our society for the post-pandemic era of digital empowerment. It is our time to thrive, and requires all of us to put our shoulders to the wheel to build a better future for ourselves and all the people of Africa.

Huawei Awarded For COVID-19 Network-operations Solution

A Huawei solution to support network operation centres during the COVID-19 pandemic has won the COVID-19 Response Award at the AfricaCom Virtual Awards. 

The Huawei O&M Autin grid-based operations solution won the prize, which recognises organisations and initiatives that have successfully deployed technology solutions in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Huawei was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of five initiatives on the continent.          

The AfricaCom Virtual Awards acknowledge the contributions of Africa’s tech community in fields including corporate leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation, connectivity, pandemic response and building a more accessible, inclusive digital world. 

Huawei developed the Autin grid-based operations solution for network operations and maintenance (O&M), using new technologies such as blockchain, grid-based transformation and the intelligent station of operations to enable decentralised network management during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

About 170 million mobile subscribers in Nigeria – the most populous country in Africa – are served by four main operators from around 30 000 sites nationwide. Maintaining these large infrastructures requires hundreds of field technicians and 24/7 monitoring. 

Lockdown and mobility restrictions during the pandemic placed additional challenges on operators, with increased traffic and restrictions on the number of workers permitted at network operations centres (NOCs). 

To address these challenges, Huawei developed the Autin grid-based Operation, which decentralises network management by empowering field technicians with digitised tools to proactively monitor network quality indicators and respond to any degradation before subscribers are affected. 

The solution not only provides a contingency for operators’ NOCs – essentially working as a “portable NOC” – but expands network monitoring capability with a grid-based operation. A cloud-based, big-data digital platform is at the heart of the solution, leveraging machine-learning/AI, prediction algorithms and knowledge-based intelligent rules. 

A monetary incentive mechanism linked to network quality indicators motivates the field workers to embrace this mindset change. Finally, an intelligent command centre – a “magnifier in the sky” – provides real-time visibility of network status, staff geolocation and incident-resolution tracking. 

“Grid-based network operation improves prediction capability and increases the agility of operators in responding to network incidents,” said Leo Lu, Huawei’s VP Global Technical Services for Southern Africa. “Field workers shift from being passive-reactive to being proactive thanks to cloud-based technology that gives them visibility and access to a knowledge database to resolve network faults. 

“Intelligent dispatching and a network quality-based incentive plan are additional mobile features that improve field workers’ wellbeing and reduce their exposure to the pandemic,” concluded Leo Lu.

Huawei introduces Key Architecture Index To Drive 5G Network Acceleration

At the recent AfricaCom event from November 9-12, part of the virtual Africa Tech Festival, Huawei held an online IP Gala conference with its industry partners to introduce the Key Architecture Index (KAI) and share its applications. The theme of the conference was “Leading intelligent IP networks, accelerating intelligent connectivity”.

In the carrier environment, the IP network enables fixed-mobile convergence, network evolution and the shift towards multi-services and the cloud era.

At the moment, a challenge facing most IP (internet protocol) networks is unnecessary complexity, due to a lack of IP architecture standardisation. Most networks were built without adequate foresight, and next-generation networks, be they 3G, 4G or 5G, were built on top of existing networks. This created network complexities around lack of visibility, management and control.

“We have to forever simplify our networks while moving to intelligent self-driving autonomous networks,” said Samuel Chen, Director of Huawei Southern Africa Marketing & Solution Sales Department at the conference.

KAI architecture specifically addresses complexity challenges, enabling future-ready networks with easy integration, visibility, management and control, by measuring five dimensions of the transport network.

The KAI model indexes are Congestion Free, Scalability, Simplification, Always-on and Intelligence. Each dimension is evaluated across the optical, IP and the manager/controller/analyzer layer.

“The KAI model helps measure the results at an acceptable level across all of our offering portfolio so that we can realise a cloud-native based approach to monitoring the architecture,” said Hugh Ujhazy, Vice President, IOT & Telecom at IDC.

Zoltan Miklos, General Manager of Network Planning at MTN South Africa delivered a presentation at the conference outlining the Best Experience Congestion-Free IP Transmission Network, which would be the direct result of following an architectural model. He emphasised that it was critical to build networks with customer experience in mind. 

“User experience is not only related to the wireless network, but to all aspects that form part of the service chain – from the customer to the core of the network,” he said.

Miklos said MTN was working hard to improve network architecture and was achieving excellent packet-lose rates of less than 10-4 across its entire network. The continuous P3 best-in-test achievements MTN has obtained were testimony to this, he said.

A white paper titled Transport Network Architecture Index in 5G and Cloud Era published by industrial intelligence company IDC this year has encouraged many operators across the world to move their network towards the KAI index model, looking to future-proof their network architecture.

Tony Hu, Huawei vice president of Data Communication Product Line said that a step-by-step approach was the right way for customers to embrace this evolution onto the KAI architectural model.

“We need to think not just as box layers. We need to think about the system layers, the architecture layers,” said Hu. “We need to rethink how services will be running on future IP networks and how to evolve our current networks for the future.”

He said IP networks could evolve by evaluating the current network against the five KAI dimensions. The KAI score obtained could then help the carrier to define the target network and the necessary corrective steps to be taken to get there.

The KAI model measures a network’s five dimension as follows: 

Congestion Free: Fiberization Ratio, 10G/25G to Site, Convergence Ratio, Network Slicing.

Simplified: SRv6/EVPN, Precise Clock Sync (G.8275.1).

Scalable: IP Capacity, Fixed + Mobile + Enterprise Network Convergence, Control & User Plane Separation (BNG).

Always On: Topology – Ring & Mesh, Network & Service Decoupling, Protection – IP FRR/TI-LFA, IP + Optical Synergy.

Intelligent: Auto Provisioning, Visualization on GIS & Logical Topology, Trouble Recovery(mins level), Predictive & Proactive Maintenance , Full Stack AI. 

Ujhazy said inadequate levels of coverage or performance led customers to change providers. By contrast, network excellence led to improved customer experience, which would then enhance the provider’s success in the market.

“In recent years, the transport network has become the deciding factor in the quality of customer experience,” he concluded.

Team Uganda Shines At The World Stage Of The Huawei ICT Global Competition

Three University students representing Uganda; Shaffic Nyanzi and Emmanuel Kiguli from Muni and Doreen Nalwoga from Lira University emerged among the world’s best at the Huawei ICT Competition Global finals, taking the first position. This was the first time for Uganda to qualify for the global stage after taking the first position at the Africa region final. 

The Huawei ICT Competition is an annual international competition, a communication platform for university students and higher education institutions within the Huawei ICT Academy program. Through this competition, Huawei aims to challenge the students ICT knowledge as well as the practical and application skills, and ultimately, inspire innovation with the theme of “connection, glory, future”. 

Huawei Uganda reached out to over 10 universities locally and having over 2500 students registering to take part. 

Uganda and other 12 teams qualified for the global competition to battle other countries from Asia, Latin America, East Europe and the Middle East. Despite being the newest contestants of Huawei ICT Competition since 2017, African students have made stunning progress this year. In 2019, only five African teams made it to the global final and reaped only one third prize, compared with 13 teams this year, winning a total of seven medals. 

Doreen Nalwoga, from Lira University and among the winners of the first position shared her experience with Huawei and the competition. ““This journey with Huawei came with benefits such as professional certification in the fields of interest,” she said. “Huawei gave students the opportunity to learn skills which are recognized in the world of ICT. Huawei provided us with a platform to experience and practice on new, innovative and cutting-edge technology to grow and develop ourselves.” 

The three Ugandan students’ achievement is due to Huawei Uganda’s continued recognition and efforts to build a competitive ICT talent pool among the young generation, who will be an indispensable accelerator for Uganda’s post-COVID recovery and digitization. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the training and competition activities were completed online. The victorious students had a good reason to rejoice after over 10 months of hard work and fierce competition all the way from national screening contests, the regional final, and the global final.  

Over the past five years on the African region, Huawei has signed cooperation agreements with over 250 universities in 14 Sub-Saharan countries on establishing Huawei ICT academies. This cooperation has enabled more than 7,000 university students to obtain Huawei ICT certification, which makes them better candidates for ICT-related jobs. In Uganda, eight universities have signed which include, Makerere, Muni, MUBS, Soroti, Kabale, Kyambogo, Nkozi and Mbarara. 

Mr. Hou Tao, Global Vice President of Huawei, highlighted the impressive enthusiasm of the students, which is much needed to for Africa’s digital inclusion in the era when the gravity of workplace skills is already shifting online. “As a private company serving the African market for over 20 years, Huawei has dedicated itself to and will always remain a trusted partner of governments and academia in building a competitive ICT talent pool, strengthening capacity building and increasing people’s digital competence,” said Mr. Hou. 

This year’s Huawei ICT Competition attracted nearly 150,000 students from over 2,000 universities in over 82 countries. 327 students from 39 countries participated in the online global final, making the scale the largest in all years. Teams from Zambia, Lesotho, and South Africa also reached the global final.

Huawei AirPON To Accelerate African Fibre Broadband Connections

The recent AfricaCom virtual technology event saw Huawei launch its innovative AirPON solution, which reuses existing wireless sites to build full-fibre access networks for operators quickly and at low cost. 

Fibre broadband has come to be seen as an essential service, especially during the Covid-19 period, with strong demand for FTTH (Fibre to the Home) deployment in Africa countries. However, FTTH network construction faces huge challenges.                     

Traditionally, operators have had to deploy centralised office equipment rooms and lay out massive optical cables to reach users. This requires large-scale initial investment and the resolution of complex problems such as right-of-way (ROW) acquisition. As a result, network construction has always been time-consuming and expensive. 

Huawei’s AirPON solution specifically addresses these challenges, providing cost-effective FTTH coverage. 

"With the existing 300 000 base stations in Africa, the AirPON solution can be maximised to achieve low cost and fast coverage,” said Dean Yu, vice president, Huawei Southern Africa Region. “It reuses existing sites, optical fibre and power supplies and can achieve 10 million home fibre access connections. Huawei's AirPON solution will help African fibre broadband connections grow, bridge the digital divide, and enable digital life in Africa.” 

Presenting a suite of AirPON use cases, Charles Qiu, Huawei vice director of access network marketing & solution sales, cited major benefits in the full-service automatic grid division and in valuable area identification, optimal route selection, network planning and design, total-cost estimation and automatic calculation of optimal routes. 

Sunil Piyarlall, technology lifecycle management executive at Openserve, said the challenge for operators was to roll out a quality network quickly while containing costs. 

He said Openserve had tested the Huawei Quick ODN solution in its laboratories and carried out a field trial in Johannesburg. Tests found that the project was delivered 30% faster than conventional fibre reticulation. 

“The pre-connectorised cables facilitated a smaller, lower-skilled workforce but still maintained an optical power budget within specification,” he said. 

Franklin Kano Ocharo, head of home business for leading Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, said Safaricom had been able to leverage mobile sites for fibre rollout and business development and was achieving a successful fixed-mobile convergence. 

“The mobile sites are network operators’ greatest advantage for FTTH rollout, as they make it easier for mobile operator to begin FTTH business,” he said. “Through operating a mobile data network, the operator can already gain insights into customers’ data requirements and is better positioned to make the move to fibre to offer more bandwidth to support customers’ needs. Based on mobile data usage insights and market evaluation, we can better evaluate the uptake of FTTH in different areas.” 

Of the construction aspect, he added that “as we face the challenge of heavy infrastructure development disrupting fibre service in Kenya, we mitigate the impact on customer service by densifying online terminals (OLTs) with Mini OLTs deployed in mobile sites closer to the customer. We took up Huawei as one of our key partners in this journey as we're able to leverage on their dynamism and innovation in responding to different challenges that require unique systems to be built.” 

Also speaking at the Home Broadband session at AfricaCom 2020, Dikah Sylvester, HOD of Fixed Network at Vodafone Ghana, expanded on the solution’s benefits. 

“With AirPON, technology can reduce the FTTH deployment cost by 29%, compared with the traditional approach. If you go with AirPON technology, you are going to save on cost and time. AirPON is the way to go for FTTH deployment.” 

Following Huawei's first release of the AirPON solution in London in February, 45 operators around the world have adopted it in network construction. The solution consists of Huawei's OptiXaccess series Blade OLTs, Digital Quick ODN (DQ ODN), and OptiXstar series eAI ONTs. It reuses existing mobile sites to build full-fibre access networks and has the following benefits: 

  • Site acquisition: Outdoor blade OLTs can be installed on existing mobile poles or tower sites to share the wireless backhaul network for upstream transmission. Sites can be selected quickly and accurately, speeding up projects by up to three months. 
  • Fibre splicing: The DQ ODN network features digital management, pre-connection technology, and parallel construction without fibre splicing. Technicians can quickly master full-fibre access network installation and maintenance. Network construction is 70% more efficient and ODN sunk cost is 20% lower. 
  • Frame freezing: The eAI ONT intelligently identifies service types and uses Wi-Fi 6 slicing technology to provide dedicated channels for VIP services, such as online education and gaming. Operators can now monetise on user experience, earning an extra average revenue per user of US$10. 

With the acceleration of the fixed-mobile convergence trend, fixed networks are the cornerstone of full-service operations. In the meanwhile, full-fibre access network construction is ramping up around the world. 

In this context, Huawei continues to innovate in full-fibre access technologies and to deliver sustainable, evolvable solutions to help operators achieve business success.

 

Xoom Announces Secure Money Transfers To Mobile Wallets In 11 Countries In Africa

 Xoom, PayPal’s money transfer service, announced that the company’s customers in the US, UK, Canada and Europe cans now send secure and convenient money transfers directly to mobile wallets in key markets across Africa with a focus on the underbanked segment.

This new service expands the company’s offering to send money to mobile wallets in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—with plans to include more markets in 2021. 

Mobile money services are being deployed rapidly across emerging markets as a key tool to further the goal of financial inclusion. Financial inclusion is instrumental in lifting the undeserved population out of poverty—and for driving economic growth. In 2019, the number of globally registered mobile money accounts surpassed the one billion mark.

In Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe, over 60 percent of adults have mobile money accounts. This new service expands Xoom’s offerings in Africa as the current service already enables money transfers for cash pick-up, direct banks deposits and mobile reloads to 41 countries in Africa. 

“Sending money to Africa through traditional channels has always been expensive. We wanted to help bring down the cost and speed up the process to boost financial inclusion,” said Julian King, Vice President and General Manager, Xoom. “There is nowhere else in the world that moves more money on mobile phones than Sub-Saharan Africa.

While there are only five bank branches per 100,000 people as of 2019[2], there are 1.04 billion registered mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa.” 

The cost of sending money through traditional channels to Africa is one of the most expensive in the world, with an average cost of 9.3 percent[4]. The cost of sending $200 to the Sub-Saharan African region averaged 9 percent in 2018 and in the southern African subregion, the average cost was 18.7 percent, almost three times higher than the global average according to the World Ban. Xoom is helping to bring down the cost to significantly with average costs of sending money to mobile wallets in select African markets ranging from 2-4 percent of the transaction. 

A pioneer in digital remittances, Xoom is a fast and secure way to send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones in over 160 countries globally. These remittances serve as a lifeline for many people around the world and are used to pay for things like utility bills, healthcare, education costs and emergencies. 

The largely cash-based system of sending money across borders can be full of paperwork, high fees, standing in line and an ever-present uncertainty of when, and if, the money will arrive when it’s needed. By providing fast and secure payment options for customers to seamlessly send money across borders by going online or using a mobile device, PayPal and Xoom are helping to expand and improve the financial health of millions of people worldwide. 

To send money abroad with Xoom in a few simple steps, download Xoom’s mobile app on Android and iOS or go to Xoom.com and set up an account easily or log-in with using PayPal credentials.

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