Providing coverage for 400 000 people in Africa will result in benefits to society and the overall ecosystem.
This is one of the conclusions in a White Paper on Rural Coverage in Africa released by the African Telecommunication Union (ATU) and Huawei.
Connectivty has the potential to positively impact and transform rural people’s lives and bring benefits in a number of areas, including health, education, financial services, transport, energy, agriculture among others.
The ATU indicates that rural connectivity should be addressed as a priority by governments and stakeholders.
The white paper analyses African nations’ ICT plan and demographic and geographic features, revealing the political, social, economic and technical challenges of extending rural coverage. Proposals are also given in the whitepaper such as proactive rural coverage standard, healthy business ecosystem and encouraging private investment.
In the white paper, infrastructure sharing and scenario-oriented solutions are recommended to address cost challenges. Coverage enhanced tower site applies to suburban scenario; cost-efficient solution like site with two sectors and simplified infrastructure applies to big villages or towns along the county highways.
As for far rural areas, targeted coverage solution with extremely low cost like Huawei RuralStar is recommended.
Abdoulkarim Soumaila, secretary general of ATU, says: “All people must be able to access the Internet. ATU is privileged to be part of this gathering in view of our role to ensure development of ICTs in Africa. Stakeholders should therefore cooperate and develop smarter strategies.”
“Huawei is committed to connecting unconnected with efficient business solutions,” says Cao Ming, vice-president of Huawei Wireless Product Line, “we will keep innovating specialized solutions and cooperate with other stakeholders.”