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Don't overlook Africa's tech potential urges Huawei

Don't overlook Africa's tech potential urges Huawei

The ICT industry ought to do more to access opportunities for growth in emerging markets across the globe according to Huawei.

The multinational ICT company, which organised a Digital Transformation Forum during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, is urging industry counterparts to exploit the latent potential in Africa and the emerging world where it runs its business.

And this should be done in an all-round strategic partnership with regions in order to advance economic and social development, the tech firm says.

William Xu, Executive Director of the Board and Chief Strategy Marketing Officer of Huawei said, "By 2025, we will see 2 billion more people with mobile connections, and another 500 million broadband homes. Our commitment has always been to enable world's operators to build roads to new growth."

Xu's says his appeal for the ICT industry to explore emerging market opportunities is directed especially at Mobile network operators can create value for communities through collaboration with his company and others by maximizing network assets, deploying home broadband and indoor digitalization, and driving connectivity to enhance the user experience, while promoting economic and social progress.

"We work hand-in-hand with operators to help them identify valued customers, develop valued businesses, and build valued networks. We enable operators to combine industry policy with the utilisation of existing network resources and integrate technological and business innovation. Our goal is to help operators drive new revenue streams and a positive business cycle of service development and network construction."

Huawei says digital infrastructure is facilitating economic growth and emerging markets are on the cusp of a major transition towards becoming digital economies.

The Global Connectivity Index (GCI), published in 2016, reported that for each GCI score point increase a country improved its innovation capacity by 2.2%, competitiveness by 2.1%, and productivity by 2.3%.

Xu elaborated on some of the ways that Huawei has capitalised on the potential of the ICT industry, untapped demographics, and national ICT strategies on the African continent specifically.

"We have achieved success in partnership with operators in Nigeria and we are replicating that in the rest of Africa. We are working closely with Telkom and MTN in Southern Africa. One request we have for our team is that we must be engaged with the front-end software deployments while at the same time consolidating our work in the backend. The front end is the work we do with operators in marketing and branding while the backend is operation and maintenance, troubleshooting, service provisions et cetera. We are not just for ices on the solution itself, but also the experience of the customer." added Xu.

Dr Margaret Hu, President of Huawei Wireless Network Marketing says drawing from the potential of the African continent, as Huawei has done, has not been without challenges.

"In Southern Africa, we found a lot of common problems that we have in other African countries like scarcity in site resources and the difficulty of acquiring new sites. That is why we have been working with telco carriers there to facilitate site level cooperation and also innovation in site solutions. In Kenya, Zambia and parts of Southern Africa, we have delivered the lampsite so that carriers can acquire site resources more easily and in an affordable way. In Southern Africa, only five percent of households have access to broadband and there is therefore very low penetration, which is why we offer WTTx home broadband solution to help carriers to capitalise on opportunities in home broadband."

Dr Hu says Huawei is also trying to achieve good synergy between FTTH and WTTx to households in Southern Africa as well as other emerging markets. She adds that rapid deployment of home broadband and indoor digitalisation will improve coverage and the user experience in emerging economies.

Huawei also proposes leveraging existing network assets in these regions to maximise network value and spectrum efficiency while making sufficient improvements to operations and management which it believes will lead to the development of these economies.

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