DURBAN – HUAWEI, the global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, is deploying new innovations to address the digital divide as well inadequate access to energy by millions in the most remote parts of Africa.
Among the solutions in place include Ultra-Rural mobile connectivity, which the Chinese firm is piloting.
Addressing delegates at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) summit in Durban, KwaZulu Natal Province in South Africa, Huawei Vice President for Carrier Business Group, Jianjun Zhou, said the deployment will enable connectivity to Africa’s unconnected 800 million people as well as harness power from energy renewable.
The solution absorbs energy from the sun before turning it into electricity.
A pilot project has already been deployed in Ghana, in conjunction with Africa’s largest mobile network operator – MTN, mostly in the countryside.
“Huawei is bringing digital to everyone. Out of the 3 billion total unconnected people in the world, 800 million are from Africa,” Zhou said.
The innovation works in remotest parts of countries where there is no electricity.
Mingchen Zhou, Huawei Vice President Global for Public Affairs, said the company’s solutions had transformed the continent’s and the world’s education, healthcare as well as enabling communication.
“Healthcare and education have improved because of ICT. Artificial In telligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) have come out following massive investments. Competition has also intensified to bring best quality ICT products,” Mingchen said.
Addressing delegates earlier, Houlin Zhao, the ITU Secretary General, urged technology companies and governments to be inclusive in their deployment of broadband.
“The ITU objective is very clear – to connect the unconnected population,” Zhao said.
Siyabonga Cwele, South Africa’s minister of telecommunications and postal services, assured government’s commitment to deploy broadband while Ghanaian counterpart, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, said the exclusion of communities in remote parts posed security threats.
MTN Group Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shuter, whose telecommunications firm has a presence in 17 African countries, hinted his company would be introducing more low-cost handsets to ensure connectivity.
– CAJ News