Light Reading

Africa's Wireless Gold Rush

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief

The annual AfricaCom trade show opened its doors in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday morning, accompanied by a slew of news announcements (mostly regarding wireless deployments) from the likes of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), Bluwan S.A. , Ceragon Networks Ltd. (Nasdaq: CRNT) and many more.

It's no surprise to find multiple network expansion investments, given the rate of mobile growth in the region: According to a new report issued by the GSM Association (GSMA) , sub-Saharan Africa is "the fastest-growing mobile market in the world," with an average annual growth rate of 44 percent since 2000. The region now has 475 million mobile connections, compared with 12.3 million fixed lines.

As a result of that growth, network operators are investing in their access, backhaul and transport infrastructure. Here's a snapshot of what's going on:

  • Togo Cellulaire is expanding its 2G, 3G and backhaul capacity with base station, microwave and router equipment from Alcatel-Lucent. The vendor is also supplying its 100Gbit/s optical gear to a consortium of Angolan network operators that is building a long-distance data transport link to the West African Cable System (WACS).

  • Somaliland service provider Somcable is to provide high-speed broadband access services to customers in The Horn of Africa region using Bluwan's Fibre Through The Air (FTTA) system in a deal valued by the vendor at more than US$3 million. The Bluwan gear will be deployed by systems integration partner Globecomm Systems Inc. The deployment is part of a network revamp by Somcable, which has also deployed Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) routers and replaced legacy Alcatel-Lucent transport equipment with packet-optical gear from Optelian . (See Globecomm, Bluwan Team for Wireless Broadband.)

  • Mozambique Cellular (mcel) is expanding its backhaul network with microwave equipment from Ceragon in a deal valued at $6.5 million.

  • Alvarion has unveiled a new wireless access product, the BreezeCOMPACT High Power unit, designed to provide mobile data coverage inside buildings. The product supports Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) as well as mobile WiMax (802.16e). Alvarion also announced it has been chosen by BusyInternet, an ISP in Ghana, to supply its 4Motion mobile WiMax radio access equipment for a network rollout in Accra. In addition, Zimbabwean operator uMAX has completed the rollout of a mobile WiMax network in Harare using the vendor's base station gear.

  • Mobile small-cells specialist PureWave Networks Inc. has won a contract to provide mobile WiMax base stations to Unique Solutions in Gambia.
  • Guineanet, an ISP in Equatorial Guinea, has expanded its mobile data network using dual-mode base station technology (supporting WiMax and LTE) from Airspan Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRN).

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    From The Founder
    Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
    Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
    Between the CEOs
    Centec on Ethernet Switching

    11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

    Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

    11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

    Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
    Wagner’s Ring
    How Might Open Source Fail?

    11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

    Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
    LRTV Custom TV
    NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

    11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

    Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
    Between the CEOs
    Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

    11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

    11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

    Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
    Women in Comms Introduction Videos
    WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

    11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

    NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

    11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

    Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

    11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

    Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

    11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

    Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

    11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

    Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

    11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

    The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
    Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
    Hot Topics
    Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
    Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
    How Might Open Source Fail?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
    Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
    Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    December 15, 2015
    Virtualizing Cable Services
    Webinar Archive
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
    Cats with Phones
    Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
    Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
    Live Digital Audio

    Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.