4G and 5G synergy stimulates Africa’s broadband growth


President of Huawei's Wireless Network Product Line, Cao Ming

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE synergy between the fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology (4G) and 5G is helping stimulate mobile broadband growth across Africa.

This has been the prevailing theme at the recent Huawei MBB VIP Salon held in Cape Town.

Cao Ming, President of Huawei’s Wireless Network Product Line, analysed the latest trends in global mobile broadband technological development.

“It took less than 10 years for mobile broadband to become the norm, bringing broadband access to global users and pushing forward a booming mobile Internet,” Ming said.

“Technology creates value, and innovation is the engine for future growth. 5G has already become a key infrastructure for pushing digital transformation in society as well as the healthy development of the digital economy,” Ming said.

He believes evolving to ultra-wideband, multi-antenna, intelligent and energy-saving technologies is the only solution for operators looking to fulfill the explosive demand for data traffic.

Dr Mohamed Fouad Madkour, Huawei’s Vice President Global Carrier Networks Solutions and Marketing, concurred.

“Even if 5G scales up extensively in other regions, 4G can still help develop the digital economy in Africa,” he said.

Madkour added, “4G can serve as the foundation for operators seeking to extend their 5G presence.”

Emmanuel Coelho Aves, Huawei’s senior wireless director, meanwhile analysed both current developments and future trends in global 4G-5G coordination.

He pointed out that, by 2025, despite forecasts of 3G/4G penetration rate exceeding 80 percent in Africa, 5G penetration rate may still be below 10 percent.

Aves believes key to ensuring that 5G penetration is higher in operators using complementary frequency bands, which would help build network synergy effects in terms of spectrum, planning and networking architecture.

Zoltan Miklos, General Manager of Network Planning at MTN South Africa, provided insight into how his company successfully coordinated 4G and 5G.

He said building premium networks for digital life, providing excellent user experience and accelerating digital transformation depend on the coordination of 4G and 5G networks.

Barry Hou, President of Huawei 5G Wireless Marketing and Solution Sales, explained how Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is booming globally and how it could be rolled out in Africa.

“Africa has a huge market potential for home broadband. Huawei can help African operators achieve FWA business success,” Hou assured.

James Maitai, Director for Networks at Safaricom Kenya, said the market potential for wireless home broadband and private line services for SMEs in Kenya is huge, dozens of times that of fibre to the home (FTTH).

Fiixed-FWA coordination is a crucial step toward home broadband (HBB).

The advanced package design of 4G FWA and 5G FWA can provide 100 Mbps-plus connections to homes.

Giulio Cavalli, Huawei’s senior microwave expert, said microwaves are crucial to coordinating 4G and 5G.

He then pointed out that simplified microwaves will be the future, with full-band 10 Gbps to the site for 5G.

Finally, Liu Zhi, Director of Huawei Packet Core Network Product Line, introduced the high-stability core network that features fast service recovery and excellent resilience in the face of signal storms, making it ideal for African markets.

– CAJ News

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