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Technology (167)

Fixed Broadband Growth In Sub Saharan Africa Creates Opportunities For Telecos And

Fixed broadband subscriptions in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be 6.6 million. This market is expected to grow by up to three-fold by 2023 according to Ovum, a London based global technology research and advisory firm.

This brings increased opportunities for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to fill the connectivity void and to benefit commercially by driving up data usage and growing revenues on their networks with Fixed-Wireless Access (also known as fixed-wireless broadband or WTTx).

Fixed wireless access has emerged as one of the most significant growth drivers around the world, as explosive user growth is seen in both developed markets like Japan, Germany and Italy as well as Emerging countries like South Africa, Philippines and Mexico.

Many believe that eventually 5G FWA will have a significant impact on fixed broadband just as 2G had on fixed voice more than 20 years ago. Case in point, according to a financial report issued by Telkom in South Africa, its WTTx new subscriber base increased by 340 thousand in the fiscal year 2018, beating 35 thousand new fibre users.

The Ovum report, titled Fixed-Wireless Access Drives Broadband Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, finds that Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers.

However, strong demand for broadband connectivity in SSA is not being adequately addressed by wireline technologies such as XDSL and fiber.

In addition to providing internet connectivity for remote and rural populations, FWA can do much to support the growth of digital media, provide the wider population with access to government services and meet the demands of businesses for high-quality broadband services.

Julian Bright, a senior analyst at OVUM and the author of the report says Sub-Saharan Africa's legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers.

“Coupled with the speed of growth and the clear appetite for new digital-media and internet-based services among consumers, among businesses and the public sector, this calls for broadband solutions that are cost-effective and can be quickly deployed.

Where the economics are favorable, FWA provides an effective complement to or even substitute for, fixed wireline connectivity. Further opportunities for FWA will continue to open up as operators and service providers in the region realize the benefits of LTE-based FWA.”

FWA advantages

Fixed-wireless access can provide a low-cost, shorter time-to-market, practical and high-performance alternative. Deployment of FWA is less complex and less costly than wireline and subscribers can be brought onto the network more quickly than with fiber, which can lead to a fast return on investment for ISPs.

FWA meets many of the criteria for affordable broadband connectivity, particularly when compared to less economic options such as fiber and copper. It provides ISPs with incentives to invest in covering sparsely populated or remote areas as well as suburban environments, by lowering the cost and shortening the payback period. 

According to industry intelligence, more than 40 carriers in SSA have launched FWA service in partnership with suppliers like Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. The number of subscribers of FWA service in SSA has reached 3.5 million. 

In South Africa, Telkom has been working with Huawei since 2015 and has seen rapid business growth driven by WTTx. Telkom’s interim results for the six months ended September 30, 2018 , shows a dramatic increase in mobile broadband subscribers (66.8%), traffic (120%), and Average Revenue Per User (12.8%).

Its fixed-wireless access and Wi-Fi continues to perform well, with a 22.1% growth to over 962,000 subscribers. The report attributes the increase to the “Deal of the month”, improved quality and the footprint expansion of its LTE network. 

“WTTx gives carriers fast access to home broadband markets, allows them to quickly build up their coverage and enable them to offer triple play services,” says David Chen, Vice President Huawei Southern Africa.

 “We are excited by the findings of this report as it gives credence to what we see as a quick win for operators in SSA,” Chen adds.

 Price Flexibility is Key

Home broadband networks, whether fiber, DSL, or FWA are subject to the same limiting factors; population density, subscriber take rates, Average Revenue Per User, CPE device cost and availability, network contention or oversubscription rate and labor costs. 

The Ovum report emphasizes that key for operators to make FWA services more accessible and affordable for users are, the application of flexible tariff choices and manageable CPE costs.

A high-end terminal leads to an increase in user acquisition costs, despite the fact that it increases the FWA capacity and reduces the cost per line. Low-cost, low-end terminals are more suitable to bring down the cost for consumers for the popularity of FWA services. 

In addition, an operator offering lower-priced FWA packages with more affordable CPE is also targeting mobile customers who currently use their 4G service to provide a home broadband connection. 

Speaking to Huawei’s WTTx offerings, Bright says, “Huawei has built its WTTx fixed wireless access business into a key component of its wireless broadband portfolio. Huawei's FWA strategy also differs from that of its competitors in that it places WTTx as part of its mobile products line rather than part of its fixed broadband offering.” 

Huawei’s WTTx solution has been recognized by the International Telecommunications Union as an innovative technical solution that improves global ICT indexes and speeds up the development of broadband connections.

Jumia Listed On The New York Stock Exchange

Jumia Technologies AG, the leading pan-African e-commerce platform, has officially announced its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. This listing is the result of a team success, and all the Jumia employees across Africa rang the “bell” at the same time in each country and in New York, this listing being the result of a team success.

 Founded in 2012, Jumia started a mission to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa, by leveraging technology to deliver innovative, convenient and affordable online services to consumers. Jumia further empowers businesses to grow, by using its platform to reach and serve consumers across the continent.

Jumia is currently active in 14 African countries with more than 81,000 active sellers transacting online with millions of consumers. The e-commerce platform directly employs more than 5,000 team members in Africa.

 “This achievement has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our teams, the trust of our consumers, as well as the commitment of our sellers and partners. All stakeholders deserve credit for this milestone, and we are just at the beginning of a long and great journey.

We are going to continue to focus on our mission and to work even harder to help consumers, sellers, partners and all stakeholders benefit from this technological revolution.” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, co-founders and co-chief executives.

Huawei Wins Two MTN Group Awards In Dubai

Huawei, the leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, shone bright, winning two awards at MTN Group hosted its Annual Supplier Award Ceremony in Dubai late last month.

The company was announced as the winner of the Supplier of the Year 2018 and Best Innovation 2018 Awards.

The Supplier of the Year Award recognises the best overall performance from a group supplier across several performance metrics such as quality, delivery and support, account performance management, innovation and meeting MTN compliance and risk requirements.

While the Best Innovation Award focuses on suppliers who demonstrate and share best practice, market insights and generate the most innovative ideas and solutions.

The theme for the awards this year was centered around three key pillars: Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence. All areas where MTN has worked extensively with Huawei to ensure MTN continuously stays at the forefront of the telecoms industry, and consistently delivers the most innovative products and services to its customers.

“As a supplier with leading products and solutions and with a team of dedicated professionals, Huawei has been a part of our success for a very long time and we recognise their partnership with confidence towards a bright future,” said Mr. Dirk Karl, MTN Group Executive: Global Sourcing and Supply Chain, as he presented the awards to Huawei.

“Hand in hand, both MTN and Huawei teams have been working together and conquered numerous difficulties in the past. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and overcoming any new challenges we may face in the future,” The President of Huawei MTN Key Account Group Mr. Frank Li said.

 

Jumia Mobile week Kicks Off

Jumia Africa’s leading online shop has today started the much anticipated Jumia Mobile Week . With discounts up to 60% OFF on Tecno, Iphone, Samsung, Infinix, Nokia, Huawei, HTC, Redmi and many more, this is easily the biggest mobile campaign Uganda has ever had.

 Some of the most anticipated deals that no one should miss out on include  the Iphone 7 discounted from 2,400,000 to 1,599,000 Ugx, Nokia 6.1 from 1,070,000 to 567,000 Ugx, Infinix Zero 6 Pro X620 from 1,560,000 to 1,099,000 Ugx, Samsung Galaxy J6 from 920,000 to 580,000 Ugx, Tecno Camon 11 Pro from 900,000 to 763,000 Ugx, power bank from 80,000 to 50,000 Ugx  and the cheapest smartphone in Uganda at 115,000 Ugx.  

 Mr. Ron Kawamara, CEO Jumia Uganda, said that the campaign is of major importance to jumia because being an online company we have taken on the mantle of pushing mobile penetration in Uganda. E-commerce is not for the future but for now and affordability of smartphones is one of the two main factors to improve the digital industry in Uganda with affordability of Internet being the second.   

 He also added that the exciting flash sales and treasure hunts are back and bigger, with items like the Iphone XR at 2,299,000 Ugx from 3,000,000 Ugx already sold out during the midnight Flash sale and many more like the huawei mate-8 from 1,700,000 to 1,000,000 Ugx yet to come at different intervals of the mobile week campaign which runs from 8th until the 21st of April plus the Iphone 7 at only 1,000 Ugx and many more as a treasure hunts highly anticipated to come. Ugandans can now enjoy the biggest smartphone sale ever had in the country.

 Mr Kawamara noted that if you place an order for an item marked Jumia express before 3 PM, it will be delivered on the same day or within 24 hours and also with the Jumia partnership with Liberty insurance customers can now enjoy the most affordable insurance on all the mobile items they purchase off Jumia, with Insurance starting at only 5,000 Ugx depending on the mobile item ordered and covering aspects such as theft and damage customers are going to enjoy value for money as this is added to the 7 day return policy guarantee from Jumia plus warranty of the different items.

Visitors to the site www.jumia.ug , free Jumia app and to the Jumia mobile app will have an opportunity to claim the biggest discounts on thousands of Mobile related items.


Jumia Uganda Launches 2019 Mobile Week

For the next two weeks, Ugandans will have a chance to express themselves on Africa’s biggest online shop, Jumia, through their sales and purchases during the Jumia Mobile Week which was Tuesday launched at Urban By City Blue hotel in Kampala.

Jumia Uganda also launched the 2019 Mobile Report that breaks down internet usage in Uganda.  Ron Kawamara, CEO Jumia Uganda, Paul Tesar, Jumia Marketing Manager and Jumia Chief Commercial Officer Manon Salamon made presentation at the press conference to make the announcements.

During the Jumia Week which will be trending under the hashtag # #JumiaMobileWeek2019 and #SavingaNeJumiaMW Kawamara said: ““This year we’ll be offering our buyers not just low prices but free warranty, express delivery and insurance for their phones”

umia CCO Manon Salamon promised that for this year’s Mobile Week 'we’ll be offering our buyers the best priced smartphones & mobile accessories they can find in Uganda,’

Paul Tesar, Jumia Marketing Manager said: “Mobile penetration has had an increase in the last few years with an approximate of 25 million Ugandans owning a mobile phone & 42% of the population are connected to the internet,”

And for the first time in Uganda, online buyers will be able to buy and pay for insurance using Jumia. Jumia said they are working with Liberty Assurance to make sure this happens. 

Huawei Releases Sees Bullish Growth In Face Of Adversity

Huawei released its 2018 Annual Report today. According to the report, the company maintained strong business growth in 2018. Its sales revenue rounded off at CNY721.2 billion, up 19.5% year-on-year; its net profit reached CNY59.3 billion, up 25.1% year-on-year.

In 2018, Huawei invested CNY101.5 billion (14.1% of its sales revenue) in R&D, ranking fifth globally in The 2018 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. Over the last ten years, Huawei's R&D expenditure has reached more than CNY480 billion. According to official data released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Huawei filed 5,405 patent applications to this organization in 2018, ranking first among all companies globally.

At the release of its annual report, Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating Chairman, said, "Information communications technology is rapidly working its way into every industry. This has triggered a digital, intelligent transformation – the driving force behind our digital economy. Through heavy, consistent investment in 5G innovation, alongside large-scale commercial deployment, Huawei is committed to building the world's best network connections. Throughout this process, Huawei will continue to strictly comply with all relevant standards to build secure, trustworthy, and high-quality products. As we work towards this goal, we have been explicitly clear: Cyber security and user privacy protection are at the absolute top of our agenda. We are confident that the companies that choose to work with Huawei will be the most competitive in the 5G era. And countries that choose to work with Huawei will gain an advantage for the next wave of growth in the digital economy."

Guo emphasized, "The easiest way to bring down a fortress is to attack it from within. And the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside. Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management, and make progress towards our strategic goals. We will continue to strengthen operational compliance, ensure business continuity and sustainability, and cultivate an open ecosystem where all players collaborate and prosper together. In addition, we will continue our organizational transformation to inspire greater passion and vitality across the organization."

In its carrier business, Huawei launched its latest 5G and SoftCOM AI solutions, focusing on making them as simple as possible to use and maintain. 2018 also saw ongoing innovation in domains like premium home broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT), helping carriers seize new growth opportunities. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's carrier business reached CNY294 billion, roughly the same as the year prior.

In its enterprise business, Huawei continued providing cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT solutions, as well as a range of products for data centers, all-flash storage, and WiFi. By integrating these technologies into its digital platform, Huawei has facilitated the construction of smart cities, safe cities, and smart campuses, and has helped drive the digital transformation of its customers in the finance, transportation, and energy sectors. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's enterprise business reached CNY74.4 billion, up 23.8% year-on-year.

In its cloud business, Huawei launched 160 cloud services and 140 solutions, and worked with its partners to serve customers worldwide with 40 availability zones across 23 regions. Huawei has grown its list of partners to more than 6,000 in this domain, and is actively exploring the use of its AI services in more than 200 projects across 10 major industries.

In its consumer business, Huawei further increased its share of the global smartphone market and has further enhanced the positioning of its high-end devices. It has also made major breakthroughs in building an intelligent ecosystem for all user scenarios. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's consumer business reached CNY348.9 billion, up 45.1% year-on-year.

Huawei Sues U.S. Government For Unconstitutional Sales Restrictions Imposed By Congress

Huawei announced that it has filed a complaint in a U.S. federal court that challenges the constitutionality of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Through this action, Huawei seeks a declaratory judgment that the restrictions targeting Huawei are unconstitutional, and a permanent injunction against these restrictions.

"The U.S. Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort," Guo Ping, Huawei Rotating Chairman said.

"This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers. We look forward to the court's verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people."

The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Plano, Texas. According to the complaint, Section 889 of the 2019 NDAA not only bars all U.S. Government agencies from buying Huawei equipment and services, but also bars them from contracting with or awarding grants or loans to third parties who buy Huawei equipment or services, without any executive or judicial process.

This violates the Bill of Attainder Clause and the Due Process Clause. It also violates the Separation-of-Powers principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, because Congress is both making the law, and attempting to adjudicate and execute it.

Song Liuping, Huawei's Chief Legal Officer, stressed, "Section 889 is based on numerous false, unproven, and untested propositions. Contrary to the statute's premise, Huawei is not owned, controlled, or influenced by the Chinese government. Moreover, Huawei has an excellent security record and program. No contrary evidence has been offered."

"At Huawei we are proud that we are the most open, transparent, and scrutinized company in the world," said John Suffolk, Huawei’s Global Cyber Security & Privacy Officer. "Huawei's approach to security by design development and deployment sets a high standards bar that few can match."

From Huawei's perspective, the NDAA restrictions prevent the company from providing more advanced 5G technologies to U.S. consumers, which will delay the commercial application of 5G, in turn, impeding efforts to improve the performance of 5G networks in the U.S.

Beyond this, network users in rural and remote regions of the U.S. will be forced to choose between government funding and high-quality, cost-effective products. This will impede the network upgrade process, thus widening the digital divide. Even worse, the restrictions on Huawei will stifle competition, leaving U.S. consumers paying higher prices for inferior products.

Estimates from industry sources show that allowing Huawei to compete would reduce the cost of wireless infrastructure by between 15% and 40%. This would save North America at least US$20 billion over the next four years.

Guo Ping added, "If this law is set aside, as it should be, Huawei can bring more advanced technologies to the United States and help it build the best 5G networks. Huawei is willing to address the U.S. Government's security concerns. Lifting the NDAA ban will give the U.S. Government the flexibility it needs to work with Huawei and solve real security issues."

 

 

Huawei, MTN Sign Joint Business Innovation MOU

Huawei has announced it has signed a joint business innovation MOU with MTN, a leading mobile network operator across Africa and the Middle East at the 2019 Mobile World Congress.

Huawei has a 17-year working relationship with MTN and is the company’s most important network solutions provider.  The signing of the joint business innovation memorandum is an important part of their strategic partnership.

Both parties have agreed to expand Active Data Growth, Rich Media Services, Mobile Financial Services, Enterprise, and Wholesale businesses from the traditional voice and data service cooperation.

The memorandum will move MTN and Huawei beyond the traditional trading relationship and extend cooperation in strategic research, business scenario design, joint product development, and joint solution go-to-market that will have a far-reaching impact on the implementation of the MTN B.R.I.G.H.T. strategy and the vision of achieving Digital MTN.

"The signing of the joint business innovation memorandum with MTN will strengthen strategic cooperation between the two parties in the future,” said Mr. Li Dafeng, of Huawei’s Executive Supervisory Board and Director of the Office of the ICT Infrastructure Business Management Committee.  

“Previously, we focused on building high-quality network serving end-users as well as on business requirements, scenarios, and business success. We believe Huawei's outstanding innovation, R&D, and localized service capabilities will help MTN build differentiated competitiveness and leadership in its target markets.”

 MTN Group COO Mr. Jens Schulte-Bockum said:  “In the historical cooperation between MTN and Huawei, Huawei helped MTN build a top-quality network with leading technologies, excellent quality, and zero network security incidents.  

MTN continued to lead the ICT development in the Africa and Middle East region, and most MTN markets operate in emerging countries and regions. To further eliminate the digital divide in these countries, improve people's lives, and achieve the vision of Digital MTN, it is willing to work with Huawei to bring benefits to the public and society.

MTN attaches great importance to cyber security, which is a global technical challenge. MTN will work with global partners to solve this problem and provide sustainable, stable, and reliable digital services for the public and society.”

 

MWC 2019 runs from February 25 to February 28 in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei is showcasing its products and solutions at booth 1H50 in Fira Gran Via Hall 1, booth 3I30 in Hall 3, the Innovation City zone in Hall 4, booth 7C21 and 7C31 in Hall 7. For more information, please visit http://carrier.huawei.com/en/events/mwc2019

Jumia, Xiaomi Partner To Drive Smartphone Penetration In Africa

Jumia, Africa’s leading e-commerce platform, has signed an important partnership with technology leader Xiaomi at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, giving millions of users in Africa easy access to Xiaomi products.

Through the partnership, Jumia will open the Mi official store on its platform and give Xiaomi access to millions of online customers across 14 countries in the continent, while Jumia will be able to offer Redmi Go (1GB+8GB) exclusively in Africa as well as other devices later in the year.

The partnership will be supported by an ambitious joint-marketing plan over the full year 2019, leveraging Jumia’s digital assets and Xiaomi marketing capabilities, including the Mi fan community. This is the promising first step to a close partnership between both companies over the years to come.

“This partnership is very important for us, as it will definitely foster the smartphone adoption in Africa as well as support e-commerce penetration. Xiaomi and Jumia have very similar internet DNA and will serve a common purpose: delivering the best in class affordable smartphones along with the best shopping experience.

This will be very beneficial for both companies and above all for the consumers in Africa”, said Jumia Group’s Senior Vice President Mr Romain Christodoulou, during the signing ceremony.

“We believe in working with companies that share our values and delighted to partner with Jumia to reach more Mi fans across Africa,” said Wang Xiang, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi. “The e-commerce model is part of Xiaomi’s DNA and we believe that working with Jumia will help us bring innovation for everyone across the continent.”

The partnership will initially cover Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco, and Ghana, and aim to cover all other countries where Jumia operates. Most markets will be directly supplied from China, confirming the fast expansion of intercontinental trade in Africa.

Africa has seen the rise of affordable entry-level devices from price-focused brands especially from China, which remains a key driver of smartphone adoption in the continent. Smartphone penetration in Africa stood at approximately 36% in 2018, with the number expected to reach about 66% by 2025.

Victoria University To Set Up Smart Village In Mpigi District

Victoria University Kampala has announced it will set up a world class smart model village in Mpigi district. The initiative came to life after the University wrote to the district authorities in November 2018. The district then invited the University team to share this concept with a select committee of the Technical team on 20/2/2019.

The University team made a presentation to a select committee of the District Technical Planning Committee about the model village which was well received.

To actualize this initiative, Victoria University entered into a partnership with Mpigi District Local Government inspired by a common interest to work together towards the improvement of the welfare of the people they serve.

Through this initiative the University shall work with the district and development partners to promote home grown development paradigms, relevant community research, effective district leadership capacity building and policy guidance.

The partnership shall see the birth of a model village with unique potential and abilities to manage its health, business, technology and societal aspects as mirrored by the four faculties of the University.

For instance students undertaking the Degree in Public Administration will make vital community level initiatives towards Good Governance, Corporate Governance and Public accountability, on the other hand their counterparts in Business shall support SMEs with strategies to grow while also supporting the District to identify additional revenue streams.

In the Health Sciences area of study aspects of public health and nutrition at both family and community levels will be a regular life testimony that students will learn, unlearn and relearn.

Students reading IT will predominantly support the demystification of IT at the grassroots to improve livelihoods through for instance simple IT enabled banking operations, communication and business management. While research will be done throughout the district the pretest, test and model interventions will be done in the selected project villages.

 

Under this arrangement both the University and the District will spare resources to invest in this initiative over a spread period of time, closely monitor and draw agenda that will enable each party to realize its ideals with regards to service delivery on one side and relevant higher education on the other side.

 

The initiative is a brain child of the University management which thought it wise to offer additional value to University students’ education by enabling students interact regularly with the real situation on the ground in modern day life while providing relevant solutions through a scholarly approach.

The discussions are still ongoing and the initiative is expected to be launched by mid this year. The University offers Diplomas, Bachelors and Masters programs in specialized fields.

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