Communications Africa 6 2013

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Issue 6 2013 Édition 6 2013



Digital developments The convergence of continental connectivity at AfricaCom

Internet Adding value to mobile messaging

Finance Innovative mobile banking solutions

Infrastructure Satellites and small cells for remote connectivity Le large bande et l'accès à des services abordables Europe m15 - Kenya KSH300 - Nigeria N400 - South Africa R20 - UK £10 - USA $16.50

FEATURES: ● Internet ● Mobile ● Infrastructure REGULAR REPORTS: ● Bulletin - Agenda ● Equipment - Équipement

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Issue 6 2013 Édition 6 2013



Digital developments

The convergence of continental connectivity at AfricaCom

Internet Adding value to mobile messaging







Finance Innovative mobile banking solutions




Satellites and small cells for remote connectivity Le large bande et l'accès à des services abordables Europe m15 - Kenya KSH300 - Nigeria N400 - South Africa R20 - UK £10 - USA $16.50

FEATURES: ● Internet ● Mobile ● Infrastructure REGULAR REPORTS: ● Bulletin - Agenda ● Equipment - Équipement

ARTICLES A note from the Editor THIS ISSUE of Communications Africa/Afrique celebrates digital inclusion - which is the key theme at the continent’s key pan-African connectivity event, AfricaCom. Be there to experience the latest developments amongst operators and providers of solutions and services. This issue features, also, news and views with respect to deployments for broadband network infrastructure, spectrum management, and mobile commerce. Main Cover Image: Orange Inset: Cisco Contents Image: Bluwan



Africa’s ever-emerging digital ecosystem gains prominence alongside current and future standards and technologies at the continent’s key connectivity event in Cape Town, South Africa



What is ‘fibre through the air’, and how can it serve African communications service providers? Also, considerations with respect to the emergence of online communities and revenue optimisation



Notes on Nigeria’s SIM card programme, which aims to reduce criminality though enhanced identification processes



Pre-appraising the possible means to address Africa’s post-mobile data boom



Policy and technical developments intended to manage better the prospective issues associated with frequency management



The increasing convergence of devices and payments systems through innovations in technological deployment

Enterprise Une note du rédacteur CETTE PUBLICATION célèbre l'inclusion numérique - qui est le thème central lors de l'événement de connectivité panafricaine clé du continent, AfricaCom. Vous devez être là pour connaître les derniers développements entre les opérateurs et les fournisseurs de solutions et de services. Il ya, également, certains articles en ce qui concerne le déploiement de l'infrastructure à large bande du réseau, la gestion du spectre, et le commerce mobile.


Best practices for corporate connectivity with mobile communications networks



The use of small cells to extend the capabilities of existing infrastructure



Le M2M et le développement des réseaux mobiles haut débit



Autour des plans nationaux pour le large bande et l'accès à des services abordables

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Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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BULLETIN African countries agree on frequency for digital TV THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION Union (ITU) reported recently that frequency coordination negotiations have succeeded in setting up the mechanism to deploy digital television in 47 SubSaharan African countries; the consolidation of national plans to implement the digital switchover in the African region is in conformity with the deadlines of June 2015 (for UHF) and June 2020 (for VHF in 33 countries) set in 2006 by ITU’s Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06).

12 radio-reporter kits including Yellowtec iXm microphone/recorders with Beyerdynamic capsules” - adding that “the Yellowtecs can be connected to Comrex Access IP audio codecs which allow digital files captured on location to be networked back to the studios in Bor”.

MTN’s new data superhighway MTN HAS INTRODUCED a global multiprotocol label switching virtual private network (Global MPLS VPN) connecting key network points-of-presence in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Djibouti, Tanzania and the United Kingdom; ”Our enterprise customers will experience a seamless managed network service, leveraging off MTN’s undersea cable investments and our 24 operations across Africa and the Middle East. MTN’s data superhighway will connect key locations to deliver global scale, high-quality network and world-class support,” says Pieter Verkade, MTN Group chief commercial officer.

Seacom supports innovation centres in Kenya PAN-AFRICAN ICT ENTERPRISE Seacom has given 100mbps of Internet connectivity to four innovation centres in Kenya - iHub, m:Lab, naiLab and 88mph - to enhance their capacity to generate local content for a global audience benefit from super fast Internet speeds to launch their applications on the Internet; “With this 100mbps of internet connectivity, Kenya’s technology entrepreneurs and innovators will now for example, be able to work on online graphical design projects that would have otherwise been difficult to test before deploying, a process called rendering,” said Seacom’s sales account manager, Michael Otieno.

Microsoft’s new mobile markets THE 3.79BN EURO acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft will see lead to gains for the American firm in emerging markets says Ajay Bhalla, Professor of Global Innovation at Cass Business School; “Not only will Microsoft get access to Nokia’s impressive intellectual assets for small change, it will also get access to Nokia’s well-established infrastructure and competencies in emerging markets – where it continues to retain an impressive market share.”

How the BBC now serves African business hubs THE BBC HAS opened a new pan-Africa Business Unit in Johannesburg, South Africa, to contribute business news from Africa to a wide range of BBC outlets - including World Service radio, BBC World News’ daily World Business Report, BBC online and on-demand services, and domestic services in the UK; director of BBC Global News, Peter Horrocks, said, “With a weekly audience of 96mn people around the continent and a network of 150 reporters and producers in 46 countries, the BBC is uniquely positioned to tell the African story.”

Danmon Systems builds radio station in South Sudan A RADIO STATION has been completed for Jonglei State Radio in Bor, capital of Jonglei State, South Sudan, by Danmon Systems Group - using equipment for four studios, which was prefabricated and tested at Danmon’s headquarters prior to being shipped to site; Danmon System Group’s media sales director Karsten Grunnet, reports that “three of the studios are equipped with Studer OnAir 1500 digital mixing consoles", with Marantz PMD-661 flash recorders “provided for use by the main station staff”, and


Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

(L-R, clockwise from top left): Delivery of one of the Eddystone transmission systems; the front entrance to the new radio station in Bor; and the studio interiors

France-IX and Seacom to interconnect African firms SEACOM HAS ENTERED into a partnership with Internet exchange point operator France-IX to provide peering services to Seacom’s African customers, to help the pan-African service provider to achieve the goal of extending African operators and service providers’ networks to reach international peers and content at an interconnection point in Marseille, France; “We expect to welcome more and more networks coming from abroad in the following years and we rely on Seacom to reinforce the presence of African operators on our infrastructure,” said Solène Souquet, marketing manager at France-IX.

AMOS-4 moves into position BUILT BY ISRAEL Aerospace Industries (IAI) for Spacecom, AMOS4, was successfully launched at the end of August 2013 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, aboard a ZENIT - 3SLB launcher, before moving to 67.250 East for in-orbit testing and then its designated permanent service location at 650 East; Spacecom president and CEO David Pollack said, "AMOS-4 continues Spacecom's tradition of providing top quality satellite solutions primarily for emerging markets and is another milestone for the company."

Intelsat and SoftBank Mobile test Kenyan service THE SUCCESSFUL TRIAL of a cost-effective, rural 3G mobile phone service has been conducted by Intelsat SA and SoftBank Mobile Corp in Kenya; “The successful field trial of a cost-effective, managed VSAT-based, rural 3G service delivery solution is an excellent example of the collaborative innovation that our industry requires to properly support the demands of its end users,” said Intelsat vice president of network services product management Steve Good.

O3b and Kymeta agree to develop flat panel antenna SATELLITE ENTERPRISE O3B Networks and antenna developer Kymeta Corporation have partnered to develop flat, thin, light and low-cost antennas and terminals; “O3b’s network, with fibre-like speeds, is a natural fit for Kymeta antennas that electronically acquire and track non-geostationary satellites,” said Bob McCambridge, president and COO of Kymeta.

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BULLETIN SES puts StarTimes on DTH platform

Trend Micro partners with Cloud on Demand in SA

CHINESE SYSTEM INTEGRATOR, technology provider and network operator StarTimes Communication Network Technology has signed a 10-year contract with satellite operator SES, to utilise SES-5 at 5 degrees East to expand its media footprint in Africa and deliver directto-home (DTH) broadcast services across the continent; StarTimes already has over 2.6mn digital terrestrial television (DTT) subscribers, and has acquired SES’ 20 per cent shareholding in South African payTV operator Top TV.

GLOBAL SECURITY SOFTWARE vendor Trend Micro has appointed Cloud On Demand, a South African cloud vendor and hybrid cloud enablement partner, as XSP (cloud) Partner for the Southern African region; through its technology assets and its softwaredefined datacentre (SDDC), Cloud on Demand provides a platform, complimentary applications and solutions to help customers and resellers in embracing the cloud by coupling Trend Micro security offerings into its product portfolio with the intention of providing security that extends from anti-virus to the hypervisor as well as into the cloud.

Equipment and services for AfricaConnect XON HAS BEEN awarded the tender to supply and implement Juniper Networks and other equipment for IP routing, out of band equipment, traffic flow analysis software and ancillary equipment for the East African UbuntuNet network, currently funded via the AfricaConnect project which is managed by DANTE and co-funded by the European Commission and African national research and education networks (NRENs), to establish a high-speed network connecting African research and education institutions with one another and to reinforce their existing connections to institutions in Europe and the rest of the world; “It is the aim of the AfricaConnect project to build a research and education network across southern and eastern Africa to ensure data communications across the NREN members of the UbuntuNet Alliance and between Africa and Europe,” said Cathrin Stöver, chief international relations communications officer at DANTE and AfricaConnect project manager.

Newtec, TDA and ABSU commit to virtual network SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST Newtec has signed a multimillion Euro contract with Télédiffusion d’Algérie (TDA) to deploy several of Newtec’s interactive satellite terminals running on the ASBU Multimedia Exchange Network over Satellite (MENOS), which is operated by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) on the Arabsat 5A satellite (at 30.5° East); by deploying the Newtec technology, hosted on the ASBU platform, TDA will now have access to their own IP-based and fully automated secure virtual network (VN) for contribution and exchange of radio and TV content at low and high bit rates.

IPX peering agreement to broaden service reach PCCW GLOBAL AND Tata Communications have signed an agreement to interconnect their IPX (IP-Exchange) communities, enabling IP communications services such as HD voice and HD video in various global markets; as 4G adoption continues to gather pace, this agreement expands further the global community of interconnected mobile network operators (MNOs) who will be able to capitalise on the latest technology innovations in mobile broadband.

Telecom Namibia partners with NewTelco SA NATIONAL FIXED AND mobile telecoms operator Telecom Namibia and NewTelco SA are working together on a total of four international points of presence (PoPs) connected into the WACS undersea cable, delivering significant benefits; these include cheaper Internet connectivity as Namibia will no longer have to route data traffic through South Africa as well as higher speeds of connectivity at lower prices and better customer service.

TDA and Newtec After the TDA-ASBU MENOS Signing Session (from left to right): Abderrahmane Bessaih, director of business development for North and West Africa at Newtec; Abdelmalek Houyou, general director at Telediffusion D’Alergie; and Didier Tymen, VP sales EMEIA at Newtec

Al Taqnyah introduces e-Signatures with Emirates ID

Une solution d’authentification en mode Cloud

E-SERVICES SPECIALIST AL Taqnyah Business Solutions and paperless solutions firm LetterGen have launched an electronic signature solution enabled for Emirates ID, following success achieved by the Emirates Identity Authority in the development of the infrastructure of its identity smart card, and the inclusion of registration and issuing to all citizens and residents of the state; “The solution enables integration with no or minor footprint on existing systems,” said Mahdi Alami Hamdan, AL Taqnyah’s technical manager.

GEMALTO A LANCÉ la solution Protiva Cloud Confirm pour un accès simple et sécurisé aux services en mode Cloud; cette solution de service logiciel (SaaS) conviviale et facilement déployable permet une authentification forte multi-facteurs conçue pour être déployée par les fournisseurs de services Cloud (CSP).


Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

De la force et la flexibilité aux opérateurs de réseau

LetterGen supports the objective to expand Emirates ID usage in all dealings, whether for the purpose of obtaining information, access to website or electronic signature via an eidentity card reader

RAJANT CORPORATION ET SCAN RF Projects ont annoncé que « SCAN RF Projects » servira de distributeur pour les solutions « Kinetc Mesh » des réseaux sans fil de « Rajant » auprès de sa liste en croissance de revendeurs et de clients en Afrique; SCAN RF Projects, un distributeur et intégrateur de premier plan des équipements de réseau sans fils en Afrique, conçoit, livre et entretient les réseaux à bande large brevetés et non–brevetés pour le compte d’une clientèle diverse qui couvre les secteurs des mines, des gouvernements, des entreprises, des municipalités, des fournisseurs d’accès internet, des operateurs d’accès sans fil à internet et les secteurs d’activités bancaires et privées.

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Meet us at


Spacecom, operator of the AMOS-5 satellite located at 17°E, delivers high-power pan-African C-band and Ku-band capacity with access to Europe and the Middle East, enabling services throughout the entire African continent. With AMOS-2 and AMOS-3 co-located at 4ËšW and serving Europe & the Middle East, AMOS-4 successfully launched to the 65°E orbital location, serving Asia and Russia, and AMOS-6 with Pan European coverage, scheduled for launch in 2015, Spacecom will further enhance its position as a multi-regional satellite operator.

November 12-14, 2013 Cape Town Stand # E07


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Events 2013 NOVEMBER 4-6

MVNO Networking Congress

London, UK



Cape Town, South Africa


Enterprise ICT Africa

Cape Town, South Africa



Casablanca, Morocco


TMT Finance & Investment East Africa

Nairobi, Kenya


Africa Radio Comms Conference

Midrand, South Africa


East Africa IT and Cyber Security Connvention

Nairobi, Kenya

IEEE Globecom

Atlanta, USA

NFC Symposium

Stockholm, Sweden

Mobile World Congress

Barcelona, Spain



Dubai, UAE


Banking & Mobile Money West Africa

Lagos, Nigeria


Cards & Payments Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa

31 Mar-11 Apr

World Telecommunication Development Conference

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt





Innovations approved in video and software DIGIGONE’S VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS system and software platform has been approved for use with Thuraya’s IP terminals. A leading mobile satellite services operator, Thuraya is actively rolling out the DigiGone satellite communications solution across their distribution channels in all vertical markets. Optimised for narrowband satellite channels, DigiGone offers high-quality encrypted video and audio conferencing, video streaming, Voice over IP (VoIP), IM Chat and file transfer using a small fraction of the bandwidth needed for other commercial video telecommunication solutions. The DigiGone system can be customised, depending on users’ bandwidth speed requirements and their choice of audio and video quality. The bandwidth can

Thuraya’s diverse range of mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency 8

Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

be raised or lowered by the user at any time during the call, to meet user requirements for image resolution. “DigiGone is an important addition to our current service offerings and an ideal tool to enable videoconferencing for Thuraya IP, IP+ and Maritime Broadband customers,” said Randy Roberts, vice president of innovation at Thuraya. “This cost-effective communications solution will be made available through our extensive network of service partners globally for use across a variety of vertical markets including maritime, energy and humanitarian NGOs.” A strategic solution DigiGone is especially well-suited for maritime applications and is certified to work with Thuraya’s Maritime Broadband terminal. The system is currently being deployed on commercial ships for applications such as videoconferencing, security and ship-to-shore crew welfare calling. The software can be installed on most PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones in just a few minutes. DigiGone has formed a strategic relationship with Maritime Medical Access (MMA) at The George Washington

DigiGone’s collaboration tool is used by government agencies, global shipping companies, media outlets, financial institutions and retail applications University, in the United States of America, to offer a complete subscription-based telemedicine solution for ships at sea. The DigiGone video link enables MMA emergency physicians to perform visual inspections of shipboard crewmembers to improve diagnosis and treatment. In many cases, this can avert the necessity of an expensive ship diversion or at-sea evacuation. “DigiGone will provide secure video and audio transmission for videoconferencing to Thuraya’s customers with satellite airtime costs much lower than other teleconferencing services,” said Michael Dunleavy, president and CEO of DigiGone. “The approval from Thuraya enables us to expand DigiGone’s global reach.”

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TV5Monde continues managed services contract with Ericsson SINCE 2006, THE French-language international TV network TV5Monde has entrusted Ericsson with operation of its existing broadcast platform for production, playout and post production. By renewing the contract until the end of 2018 and expanding it to include the integration and operation of its new platform, TV5Monde is modernising and adapting to the latest digital standards to ensure increased broadcast quality. TV5Monde's media is available globally, distributed as both linear traditional TV (broadcast), and nonlinear TV (fixed and mobile Internet websites, Web TV, video on demand, mobile apps, connected TV). Ericsson's new installations will optimise the management of TV5Monde's various broadcast modes. Marie-Christine Saragosse, CEO, TV5Monde, said, "We rely on Ericsson's expertise to design and implement complex systems that allow us to broadcast our programmes to 235mn households, representing more than 50mn viewers every week in 200 countries and territories. Outsourcing our operations to Ericsson and handing over the responsibility for quality of service allows us to focus on pursuing our mission of providing the best French-language programming to viewers around the world." Valter D'Avino, vice president and head of managed services at Ericsson, says, "We are delighted to continue our partnership with TV5Monde and take a further step in our broadcast services journey. This renewed and expanded contract is very important to us, since it's the biggest broadcast outsourcing contract in France." The expansion of this contract comes just a little over two months after Ericsson closed the acquisition of Technicolor's broadcast services division and broadened its managed services offerings for media broadcasters. It also helps Ericsson take another step toward its goal of becoming the leading global provider of managed services for Valter D'Avino, vice broadcasters. president and head of Ericsson will integrate TV5Monde's new broadcast managed services at Ericsson platform and provide services on-site.

Seacom supports Kenyan innovators PAN-AFRICA ICT ENABLER Seacom has given 100mbps of Internet connectivity to four innovation centres in Kenya to enhance their capacity to generate local content for a global audience. The centres - iHub, m:Lab, naiLab and 88mph - now benefit from super fast Internet speeds to launch their applications on the Internet. “With this 100mbps of Internet connectivity, Kenya’s technology entrepreneurs and innovators will now for example, be able to work on online graphical design projects that would have otherwise been difficult to test before deploying, a process called rendering,” said Seacom’s sales account manager Michael Otieno who added that Seacom was keen to build this talent in Kenya and across the continent under its corporate social investment programme because it believes in the application development, design, coding and programming talent available in Africa. “One of the core drivers of Seacom’s CSI strategy is to fast track African ICT skills and enterprise development by leveraging its existing Internet

12 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity in-kind, support to universities, high schools, ICT innovation centres, plus ICT learning and training centers throughout Africa,” said Joseph Muriithi, Seacom Kenya country manager. “ICT is a key development pillar in Kenya’s vision 2030. Seacom will support the Government in its commitment to ICT development in the country by providing accelerated Internet connectivity to the Internet community at large,” said Muriithi. Muriithi added the consideration that the youth consider themselves as global citizens and through the innovation centers, they are now able to use the Internet as a tool for research, testing, deployments and communication with the global citizen. “Nailab is an innovation space, targeting early stage startups, primarily working with developers and programmers who are striving to build novel innovations, economically viable products, targeting health, education, social and environmental problems faced in emerging markets," Otieno explained.

Satellite antenna deal O3B NETWORKS AND Kymeta Corporation have committed to the development of flat panel satellite antennas for the O3b network. The flat, thin, light and low-cost antennas and terminals developed by Kymeta in combination with O3b Networks high speed, low latency and low cost Internet services are expected to open a wide range of new markets worldwide. “O3b’s network with fiber-like speeds is a natural fit for Kymeta antennas that electronically acquire and track non-geostationary satellites. The O3b network architecture is a perfect fit for Kymeta’s unique technology and capabilities.” The two companies will develop the unique satellite tracking antennas and terminals to be optimised for the fast and affordable satellite services that O3b will be offering.

ICT services for small businesses continue to rise ANALYSYS MASON’S RECENTLY published report - ICT services for SMEs worldwide: forecasts and analysis 2013–2018 - provides a five-year forecast of connections and revenue for ICT services for small and medium-sized enterprises. The forecast shows that emerging markets will account for 47.6 per cent of worldwide revenue in 2018, an increase from 44.4 per cent in 2013. Total revenue will increase in all markets, but the CAGR increase in emerging markets (3.8 per cent) will be greater than in developed regions (1.1 per cent). Total revenue in emerging markets will increase from US$94.01bn in 2013 to US$113.19bn in 2018, at a CAGR of 3.8 per cent. Mobile voice and data will continue to be extremely important to SMEs in emerging markets, because coverage is far wider than fixed networks, and the cost is more competitive against fixed alternatives than in developed markets. Adoption of fixed-line services, both voice and broadband, will also contribute significantly to this growth, as operators roll out improved infrastructure and increase coverage, and as the cost of these services decreases. Cloud services will also contribute to revenue growth in emerging markets. Revenue in this sector will increase from US$0.37bn in 2013 to US$2.09bn in 2018 at a CAGR of 41.3 per cent. This jump in revenue will be driven by increased adoption of cloud services because of improvements in availability and reliability of broadband connectivity, and as SMEs in emerging markets become increasingly reliant on IT and data. Barriers to cloud services adoption differ between developed and emerging markets. In developed markets SMEs are more likely to have existing, on-premises services, and are reluctant to replace these. In emerging markets, the key barriers to cloud adoption are low PC adoption and a lack of awareness of the cloud-based solutions available. Analysys Mason expects higher CAGR increases in emerging markets because current levels of adoption are lower than in developed markets, and as fixed and mobile broadband services become more ubiquitous, and PC, smartphone and tablet adoption increases.

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More Eypgtians get news by mobile FIGURES RELEASED BY TA Telecom, an SMS-based mobile services company, show that access to reliable and real-time news is of increasing importance to the country. More than an estimated 1,575,000 subscribers are currently signed up to receive news content, ranging from breaking international story updates to local newscasts, in comparison to approximately 107,000 in January 2011. TA Telecom’s innovative service platform, Buzz!, is the first service delivery platform designed specifically for mobile operators in emerging markets. Recently, subscriptions increased by almost a fifth between May and July 2013, leaping from approximately 1,288,000 to more than 1,570,000. This shows just how critical access to such information is to users in Africa and the Middle East.

Imperial goes mobile with tech firm acquisition IMPERIAL HOLDINGS IS entering the mobile and telecommunications industries with the recent acquisition of mobile technology firm ForeFront Africa (FFA), to form part of the newly-launched Resolve brand and become Resolve Mobile. This will allow the companies to work together seamlessly and provide the best possible digital and mobile strategies to the group, as well as clients and partners. "Imperial is excited to enter into the strategically critical mobile technology arena alongside a team with such notable skill and extensive African experience,” says Cobus Rossouw, chief integration officer. “We are now well placed to partner our clients in leveraging the potential of Founders of ForeFront Africa (from left) Tracy Langdon Surkont and Nicholas Haralambous mobile commerce in their value chains.” Tracy Langdon Surkont and Nicholas Haralambous founded ForeFront Africa in 2013 after both Holdings will bring massive opportunities to our company and recently exiting separate ventures and having worked assist in growth which we would have battled to achieve together at Vodacom SA. The company was founded after otherwise.” Haralambous and Surkont spotted a market requirement for Resolve Mobile’s clients include WASPs, mobile network skilled mobile talent willing to work in African countries with operators as well as social networks from around the world. Surkont said that FFA has experience and a grasp of the experience in those markets. "Tracy and I knew that we were onto something after founding market that few others have. the company when we were approached by companies "We understand that the market is complicated, each country throughout Africa and further afield to make use of our in Africa needs unique attention and each company brings services," said Haralambous. “Partnering with Imperial with it a different offering and unique requirements."

BETTER THAN AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE IN A TRAFFIC JAM Customers can take any number of routes to contact your business. Voice, email, chat, fax, text, social media. The problem is, many businesses have no standardised way to manage them. Delivered as a service in the cloud, or on-premise, Customer Interaction Center™ is a multichannel solution designed to process and route all types of communications alike — consistently. With one platform, you give customers all the contact options they want, along with a direct route to your business.


14 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

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Uganda's communication sector registers faster growth ONE OF THE fastest growing sectors in Africa, the contribution of communciations to Uganda's national economy has increased significantly lately realising an estimated 1.7 trillion shillings (US$700mn) in financial year 2010/11 against 1.4 trillion shillings (US$500mn) in the previous year, translating into 3.4 per cent GDP. The country collected 20bn shillings from the six major telecom companies in taxes and the sector posted a 20-plus year-on-year growth rate, which was three times the national GDP growth of 6.3 per cent. According to Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director, Godfrey Mutabazi, there are at least 17mn mobile subscribers in the country, amounting to almost half of Uganda's 35mn people, compared to the fixed line market with slightly over 300,000 customers. "This is a significant development. There are 12mn fixed and mobile voice telephony customers in 2010 and 9.6mn in 2009. Increasing access and usage of the Internet is another trend in the growth of the telecommunication sector and currently there is an estimated

"The arrival of undersea cable services in Uganda has also reduced Internet costs while we used to rely on satellite infrastructure for communication.Also the full liberalisation of the communication sector in 2006 has opened up and encouraged competition." - Godfrey Mutabazi, Uganda Communications Commission executive director five million Internet users in Uganda compared to 6,500 in 2002." "To date, at least 90 per cent of geographical coverage has been achieved while at least 95 per cent of Ugandans have access to telecommunication services using a whole range of new technology. Uganda is one of the few countries that has achieved 100 per cent GSM coverage at sub-county level," the head of the regulatory body said. Broadcasting services in Uganda have also undergone dramatic changes in the last two decades following the rapid spread of digital technologies and presently there are about 270 FM licensed radio frequencies where 192 are operational while 55 TV frequencies have been licensed and 35 are operational.

"The arrival of undersea cable services in Uganda has also reduced Internet costs while we used to rely on satellite infrastructure for communication. Also the full liberalisation of the communication sector in 2006 has opened up and encouraged competition," he noted. The establishment of the Universal Service Fund in 2003 spread and smoothened communications in rural areas. The success of programme in Uganda means that it has become a reference point for rural communications. Despite the positive growth, the communication sector still faces a number of challenges including developing appropriate licensing to reap benefits of convergence, promoting fair competition among new entrants, smaller

players and operators with significant market share and reforming the approach to management of scarce resources like spectrum to be in tandem with social, technological and economic status and trends. Other challenges he mentions are the fast-tracking the deployment of broadband in the country to facilitate the reaping of benefits in the era of the Internet and the affordability of communication services and penetration of terminals. "The Commission espouses a regulatory intervention informed by the need to regulate. We are working towards the realisation of a facilitative rather than inhibitive regulation,� Godfrey Mutabazi said.

Geoffrey Muleme

Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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L'Afrique prête pour le déploiement de la télévision numérique LES NÉGOCIATIONS SUR la coordination des fréquences ont abouti à la mise en place du mécanisme qui permettra de déployer la télévision numérique dans 47 pays d'Afrique subsaharienne. L'harmonisation des plans nationaux pour la mise en œuvre du passage au numérique en Afrique respecte les délais – à savoir juin 2015 pour les ondes décimétriques et juin 2020 pour les ondes métriques dans 33 pays – fixés en 2006 par la Conférence régionale des radiocommunications de l'UIT (CRR-06), qui a adopté le Plan GE06 relatif à la télévision. L'Afrique devient ainsi la première région à être en mesure en 2015 d'attribuer les fréquences libérées par le passage à la télévision numérique – le fameux ‘dividende numérique’ – au service mobile dans les bandes des 700 MHz et des 800 MHz. Les décisions prises par la Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications de 2012 (CMR-12) pour faciliter la disponibilité du dividende numérique pour le service mobile seront applicables, moyennant quelques peaufinements sur le plan technique, immédiatement après la prochaine Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications, qui aura lieu en 2015 (CMR-15). Le Secrétaire général de l'UIT, Hamadoun I. Touré, s'est félicité du niveau élevé de coopération de l'Union africaine des télécommunications (UAT) et de son Secrétaire général, M. Abdoulkarim Soumaila, dans le processus. M. François Rancy, Directeur du Bureau des radiocommunications de l'UIT, a annoncé que les pays d'Afrique subsaharienne ont commencé à soumettre officiellement des modifications à apporter au Plan GE06 après la réunion finale de coordination des fréquences qui s'est tenue à Nairobi du 17 au 19 juillet 2013 et la date limite du 31 août fixée pour les notifications. "L'objectif était de permettre aux pays africains d'attribuer le dividende numérique aux services mobiles dans la bande 694-862 MHz, et d'appliquer ainsi de manière harmonisée à l'échelle régionale les décisions prises à la Conférence mondiale des radiocommunications de 2012", a déclaré M. Rancy. "Cet objectif a été atteint grâce à une nouvelle planification des besoins de spectre pour la radiodiffusion télévisuelle dans la bande 470-694 MHz."

L’identité numérique – un défi social et économique COMMENT ESTIMER LA valeur d’une identité numérique ? Répondre à cette question n’est pas facile car cela dépend notamment du prix auquel les consommateurs évaluent leurs informations personnelles et de la manière dont ils décident ou pas de les partager. Les plus emblématiques sont les services publics et le secteur de la santé, les services financiers fixes et mobiles, le commerce électronique, les communautés numériques... sans oublier les titres d’identité et les documents de voyages - passeports et cartes d’identité – produits au format numérique. Face à de telles opportunités économiques et commerciales, les entreprises qui fournissent des technologies et des services liés à l’identité numérique se multiplient dans le monde entier, depuis les fournisseurs d’objets sécurisés (cartes à puce, terminaux, smartphones,...) jusqu’aux multiples prestataires de services. Les technologies les mieux adaptées à la sécurisation de l’identité numérique et à la protection de la vie privée restent les cartes à puce et autres supports physiques (‘smart tokens’). La technologie des cartes à puce est reconnue dans le monde entier comme la plus adaptée aux applications d’identité qui doivent répondre à certains besoins cruciaux de sécurité. Cette année, CARTES se tient conjointement au salon Milipol Paris, le salon mondial de la sécurité intérieure des États pour tous les professionnels de la sécurité publique et industrielle.

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Orange Business Services renforce son offre M2M ORANGE BUSINESS SERVICES et Ericsson ont signé un accord pour renforcer leur positionnement sur le marché mondial du M2M (machine-to-machine). Le M2M et plus largement l’internet des objets connaissent un essor dans de nombreuses applications et le développement des réseaux mobiles haut débit devrait renforcer cette croissance. C’est particulièrement le cas dans les secteurs de l’automobile et de l’électronique grand public pour qui ces solutions représentent un grand potentiel de développement de services. Les multinationales qui adressent différents marchés dans le monde doivent pouvoir s’appuyer sur une solution homogène d’un pays à l’autre et ce, tout en étant capables de répondre aux attentes spécifiques des utilisateurs dans chaque pays. Orange Business Services a choisi la plateforme en mode cloud de gestion des objets connectés DCP (Device Connection Platform) d’Ericsson pour enrichir sa gamme de solutions M2M et renforcer le support auprès de ses clients internationaux. Cette solution permettra aux clients d’Orange Business Services de bénéficier de fonctionnalités de pointe pour déployer, faire évoluer et exploiter des millions de connexions M2M à l’échelle mondiale. Un portail de services disponible en permanence permettra aux clients d’accéder eux-mêmes et directement à des fonctionnalités de gestion et de contrôle de leur base de cartes SIM installées, avec un accès en temps réel pour le suivi opérationnel, le soutien aux équipes métiers et l’accès aux statistiques d’utilisation. Les fonctionnalités de la plateforme Ericsson viennent renforcer la qualité de service globale d’Orange Business Services et la fluidité de l’expérience client.

« LTE Signalling est un service indispensable qui offre à nos clients la capacité de se différentier de la concurrence et leur permet de générer des recettes supplémentaires sur un marché en très forte évolution » Alexandre Pébereau Orange Business Services propose déjà une gamme complète de solutions M2M à la carte (allant de la connectivité M2M aux solutions de bout-en-bout : conception, gestion de projet, services de conseil et support). Avec plus de 250 personnes dédiées au M2M, Orange Business Services offre une expertise reconnue dans l’innovation, l’intégration et le développement de solutions métier incluant notamment : la surveillance à distance des systèmes médicaux connectés, le diagnostic et la maintenance d’équipements, les compteurs intelligents (smart metering), la gestion de flottes ainsi que le suivi et la traçabilité. Après la Global M2M Association (GMA), cet accord marque une nouvelle étape dans l’ambition d’Orange Business Services de proposer des solutions M2M mondiales. Grâce au partenariat (GMA) signé avec les principaux opérateurs Européens, les clients d’Orange Business Services bénéficient des accords de roaming et d’intéropérabilité de ses membres et accèdent ainsi à une couverture réseau inégalée à l’échelle mondiale et des niveaux de services harmonisés. Thierry Bonhomme, directeur exécutif d’Orange Business Services, explique : « Cela fait de nombreuses années qu’Orange Business Services investit dans l’Internet des objets, avec pour ambition d’être un acteur clé sur le marché mondial du M2M. Nous continuons à enrichir notre portefeuille dans ce domaine pour fournir aux entreprises internationales les meilleurs services disponibles. L’accord conclu avec Ericsson constitue une avancée nouvelle dans notre approche mondiale du M2M, et dans la mise en œuvre d’un éco-système de partenaires sélectionnés – pour le plus grand bénéfice de nos clients. »

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An exposition of digital excellence This year, AfricaCom promises a plethora of innovative approaches to inclusion and optimisation, creating opportunities for revenue maximisation where it counts in the communications industry


HAT DO YOU get when you come to the continent’s biggest communications event? Whether you are an operator, a broadcaster, a service provider, an ICT enterprise, an application developer, or a regulator, the answer is the same: you will get a roadmap to digital inclusion. What does inclusion mean? That is where the market is differentiated at this event - and that is where you can tailor your experience in Cape Town this November. Entrepreneurs can discover the benftis of incubators, entertainment firms can gain the latest gen on digital music in Africa, operators and investors can take a look at forward movement towards the implementation and operation of LTE in the continent, or of mobile money ecosystems, of new modes for broadcasting, or of the emergence of apps as a serious route to profitability. Those geared more toward infrastructure and provision of services might consider delving into knowledge resources on Cloud technology, on utilisation of Big Data, or on solutions geared towards enterprise mobility. AfricaCom is Africa's largest annual communications congress and exhibition, and there are many ways to profit from participation in the event, which this year is held from 12-14 November. The conference programme covers the most strategic issues affecting companies in Africa’s digital market - including services, efficiency, profitability, customer experience, partnerships, and policy – and includes seven co-located events: Digital Music Africa, Mobile Money Africa, LTE Africa, AfricaCast, AfricApps, Cloud and Big Data. Plus two FREE workshops with Corning and WiMAX Forum. There will be Hear from 300+ Industry speakers from the entire digital ecosystem, including key players such as: Deezer, MTN, Etisalat, Mozilla, Wananchi, Orange, Airtel Africa, Vodacom, Google, SABC, Smile, Iroko, and Facebook. The exhibition features over 350 exhibitors, offering outstanding opportunities to network with a record 8,000+ decision-makers, representing the entire communications ecosystem across continent, and beyond it. As Irene Charnley, CEO of Smile Communications, put it to the Informa TM, organiser of AfricaCom, “The next 12 months are likely to see continued growth in ICT access across the continent, combined with 18 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

ever-increasing demand for high-speed, high quality and reliable broadband services as markets and services continue to mature. Increased competition and innovation amongst high-quality service providers and content and application providers will place additional pressure on legacy systems. This and other factors will add to the pressure on large legacy networks as consumer loyalty continues to decline and as the demand for high-quality and reliable services to support these new applications becomes increasingly difficult to ignore.” Infrastructure remains to be built – including the deployment of solutions to improve network quality and reliability. Work highlighted in Cape Town, hence, will include a variety of vendors and their partners, such as governmental organisations and regulatory agencies. WiMAX is central amongst the key technological standards promoted at this year’s event. The WiMAX Forum is promoting its involvement in industrial markets and building a case for its WiMAX Advanced initiative. Enterprise connectivity is key to such development, as many members of the WiMAX Forum are moving away from the traditional service provider operations, to utilise technology to gain direct share of industrial markets. The WiMAX Forum offers opportunities to learn more at WiMAX Africa 2013, which is co-located with AfricaCom. This third annual event is designed to focus on supporting the African operator community, and on developing and managing DAARSAT was recently launched on the AMOS-5 satellite

profitable corporate growth through WiMAX network deployments.

Technologists at AfricaCom Enterprises promoting key technologies at AfricaCom include many notable providers of solutions and services to African ICT sectors. Global ICT solutions provider Huawei, which is dedicated to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, has established end-to-end capabilities and strengths across the carrier networks, enterprise, consumer, and cloud computing fields. The company is committed to creating maximum value for telecom carriers, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive ICT solutions and services. Its products and solutions have been deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world's population. Econet Solar is a manufacturer and distributor of solar-powered products for the global market, and in particular for the developing world. The company is driven by a vision to light up the developing world and provide safe alternate power. Econet Solar aims to achieve this vision by providing a variety of practical and affordable products, uniquely tailored for developing markets. The company’s patented innovation: the Home Power Station (HPS), a lighting and charging solution, makes expensive Solar Technology available to low-income individuals through the innovative combination of solar energy products and mobile-phone technology; and is emblematic of the ethos and innovation of Econet Solar to improve the lives of millions through technology. Samsung Electronics offers specialisms in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies. The company operates two separate organisations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LCD. O3b Networks is building a next-generation satellite network for telecommunications operators, Internet service providers, enterprise and Government customers in emerging markets. The O3b system will combine the global reach of satellite with the speed of a

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I am

champion and challenger

We are Liquid Telecom and, like you, we know leaders always innovate. Recently we were awarded ‘Best Network Innovation 2013.’ But we’re not stopping there. We’ll continue to lead the way unrestrained by convention.

Building Africa’s digital future

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optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with lowcost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity. Procera Networks Inc. delivers Intelligent Policy Enforcement solutions designed for carriers, service providers and enterprises worldwide. Procera’s PacketLogic solutions provide actionable intelligence and policy enforcement to ensure a high quality experience for any Internet connected devices. Network operators deploy Procera’s technology to enable real-time visibility, superior performance and scalability, and deliver personalised services for millions of enterprises and consumers. Cisco helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected - providing solutions that support success.

“Delivery of high quality service on a powerful platform is what elevates AMOS and helps our business grow” Spacecom's president and CEO David Pollack RFS designs, manufactures and markets high quality antenna systems for mobile infrastructure, microwave links point to point, radio/television broadcast and HF communications systems. RFS’ products for these applications include RF cables, coaxial elliptical waveguides, connectors, antennas, filters and other RF signal conditioning equipment, repeaters, pressurisation systems and installation accessories. Ruckus Wireless is a global supplier of advanced wireless systems for the rapidly expanding mobile Internet infrastructure market. Ruckus technology addresses Wi-Fi capacity and coverage challenges caused by the everincreasing amount of traffic on wireless networks due to accelerated adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Ruckus invented and has patented state-of-theart wireless voice, video, and data technology innovations, such as adaptive antenna arrays that extend signal range, increase client data rates, and avoid interference, ensuring consistent and reliable distribution of delaysensitive multimedia content and services over standard 802.11 Wi-Fi. Gemalto specialises in digital security. It is entrusted by over 450 mobile operators around the world to manage subscribers as well as enable new business models by connecting to new services from beyond the tradition telecom eco-system. It brings deep security expertise and

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rich software innovation to mobile communication services as a pioneering provider of identification, transactions and optimization solutions for wireless consumer devices and industrial machines. NEC provides innovative and integrated IT and networking solutions, delivering a complete portfolio of mobile and broadband networking infrastructure, innovative technologies and proven applications that meet the complex and changing needs of our customers. NEC’s Solutions enables carriers to seize the opportunities of the emerging next era in telecommunications, without delay, with minimum investment, and with carrier grade security and quality. We have the key to a business transformation that builds a continuous stream of new revenue. Citrix ByteMobile Smart Capacity solutions enable mobile network operators to increase available network capacity by 30 to 50 per cent, to improve quality of experience (QoE) for their subscribers on an individual basis and to differentiate service plans in order to improve monetisation of over-the-top content. Telecommunications network operator Neotel caters for wholesale, business and home customer needs. We deliver services that reduce the cost of doing business through the optimal use of advanced technologies. It is South Africa's first converged telecommunications network operator. This means that voice, data and Internet is now offered over a single connection. Giesecke & Devrient’s smartcard-based solutions, software, and services secure your mobile life. Its customers include banks, credit card companies, mobile network operators, public transport companies, and OEMs or enterprises. Comverse’s provision of telecom business

In Ghana, and elsewhere in Africa, 4G LTE is expected to transform the use of technology with regards to mobile consumers, healthcare, transportation, energy, security, agriculture, sales and payments industries and infrastructure solutions enables communication service provider success in the hyper-connected world through service innovation and smart monetisation. The company’s proven and innovative product portfolio includes BSS, Policy Management (PCRF) and Enforcement and Digital & Value Added Services – all backed by Managed and Professional Services. Clickatell specialises in mobile messaging

and transaction services, which enable its customers to connect, interact and transact with their business partners and communities on the mobile phone. HP helps communications service providers (CSPs) to meet demand for services and streamline internal operations. It offers an endto-end portfolio including a suite of convergent IT and telecom solutions, such as: software (OSS/BSS, service delivery and network platforms, subscriber data management, analytics, cloud); professional services including business consulting, integration, and managed services/outsourcing; joint go-tomarket programmes; carrier-grade servers; storage and printers. With its expertise in next-generation software and telecom technology, Intersec designs solutions that enable mobile operators to capture and monetise network value through big data collection for innovative services creation. Intersec integrates its leading core network solutions to generate location intelligence revenue and to maximise customer value management, contextual engagement, and messaging traffic profitability.

Africa’s current communications developments A survey of key enterprises exhibiting at AfricaCom - and their partners in the communtications sphere - reveals a number of important developments underway. Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) and Hummerlton Security Services (HSS) recently that signed a multi-transponder agreement on ABS-2 and ABS-3 satellites. The capacity agreement will provide additional connectivity for HSS to expand its business network and infrastructure for its growing business in Africa. Based in Botswana, HSS applies project appraisal and implementation skills to leverage investment opportunities in the ICT and Financial sector. Under the multi-year agreement, HSS will use the high powered C and Ku-band capacity of ABS-2 and ABS-3 to provide data services to its customers across Africa. It will be used to support HSS’s payment gateway services and to extend data connectivity and enterprise applications to ICT and banking industry predominantly in Africa region. Wholesale carrier BICS has opened three new offices - in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa - to ensure a strong local presence for customers in the African region. The offices are part of a broader programme of expansion in key growth markets and will provide a critical focus for sales and support of BICS’ portfolio of services. BICS currently has offices located in Brussels, Bern, Dubai, Singapore and New York. During the past summer, Alcatel-Lucent and Surfline Communications Ltd continued work on the first commercial deployment of a 4G LTE network in Ghana and - more generally - in Western and Central Africa. Alcatel-Lucent is

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credit photo : Stefan Kraus


EXPAND YOUR REACH WITH EUTELSAT AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. We have provided premium satellite coverage of Africa for over 15 years and are the continent's leading operator for DTH broadcasting. More than 700 TV channels are now broadcast via our satellites, representing over 50% of Africa’s TV channels. Broadband demand is also growing rapidly. Our IPEasy solution for SMEs and residential users provides broadband services that can be bundled with reception of TV channels for triple play. Committed to furthering communications in the African market, we have recently launched four new satellites, EUTELSAT 21B, EUTELSAT 70B, EUTELSAT 3D and EUTELSAT 25B, all of which have extensive African coverage. In addition, three out of our next seven satellites to launch will have capacity for the African market and will bring cost effective connectivity across the continent at competitive rates. Contact us and find out how our market leading satellite resources can accompany your digital television growth, mobile communications and broadband access throughout the entire continent.

Join us at AfricaCom 2013: Stand D09

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providing hardware and software, along with installation, optimisation, maintenance and managed services, to help Surfline roll out nextgeneration mobile communications in response to rapidly increasing data demand driven by the proliferation of lower cost smartphones. A new IP architecture-based network will give Surfline the ability to quickly and economically expand mobile broadband capacity as customer demand grows. The 4G LTE network will provide Surfline customers access to social networking sites, Internet browsing, e-mail, online gaming, streamed videos and video calling with dramatically increased performance. Surfline believes the Ghanaian market has matured beyond the products and services currently available in the market. This is especially true in the data sector. As a datacentric communications provider Surfline will address national requirements for broadband connectivity that will greatly contribute to Ghana’s social and economic growth. Spacecom, which operates the AMOS satellite fleet, recently launched DAARSAT, a satellite TV service, on the AMOS-5 satellite located at the 17° Eprime orbital position. DAARSAT is the eighth Nigerian direct-to-home (DTH) service on AMOS-5. DAARSAT is now available to all of Nigeria as a stand-alone digital TV service. It joins fellow Nigerian DTH services Infinity and HiBand, among others, on AMOS-5. Spacecom's president and CEO David Pollack remarked, “Our partnership with DAAR serves as an excellent example showing Spacecom's commitment to DAARSAT. The agreement secures a long and mutually beneficial relationship between our organisations for many years to come." Network and subscriber intelligence provider


Astellia and Zimbabwean mobile operator Econet Wireless have jointly been shortlisted for the AfricaCom Awards 2013 in the category of ‘Best cost efficiency solution for Africa’, in recognition of the pair’s attempts to address erratic energy supply, which has been high on Econet Wireless’ agenda since it is hindering it from delivering and guaranteeing reliable voice and broadband services to its subscribers. Econet Wireless found in Astellia a partner to help it calculate the impact of power outages and network congestion on its operational efficiency which allows them to prioritize and optimise CAPEX/OPEX investments to offer a better quality of experience to customers and increase revenues.

“We chose Alcatel-Lucent to build and operate our LTE network because of the strong trust and relationship we developed” - John Taylor, executive chairman of Surfline “The results from the revenue assurance tool were successfully used to prioritise CAPEX investments on strategic high traffic sites guaranteeing a fast and substantial ROI. Furthermore, we will be using revenue assurance data to justify future CAPEX investments to ensure a short payback period and efficient use of resources,” says Kezito Makuni, technical director at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Comviva’s mobiquity mobile financial services platform links a mobile wallet account

to any payment instrument (cash, bank account, debit and credit cards), which customers can access using multiple access mechanisms, including Apps, STK, USSD, Web and NFC. Across deployments, mobiquity platform aids service providers address rapidly evolving transactional needs of a broad set of consumers by supporting cost-efficient delivery of a range of convenient, reliable and secure financial products. Customers can receive monies directly into their mobile wallets in the form of domestic and international inbound remittances salaries and government grants and use available funds to pay insurance premiums, taxes, utility bills, and merchants. Easy access, simplicity and convenience offered by the mobile as a transactional channel have helped bring 30mn households into the formal financial services fold in cash-intensive economies of Asia and Africa. In South Africa, Dimension Data and Internet Solutions (IS) have launched Enterprise Wi-Fi, a fully-managed solution that integrates a secure, enterprise WLAN deployment with the advantages of the AlwaysOn Hotspot service. “The need to cater for smartphone and tablet usage constitutes a significant, unplanned requirement for most enterprise LANs,” explained Brett Steingo, innovation and technology manager for Connectivity at IS. Also in South Africa, TP-LINK has formed a partnership with VoIP and networking solution distributor Even Flow, in a bid to grow its business in Southern Africa. TP-LINK is a global SOHO and SMB networking products provider and is amongst the world’s fastest growing brands of broadband routers and network points and one of the largest providers of WLAN and Broadband CPE devices. ✆

AfricaCom Ceragon delivers high-capacity microwave to Globacom Nigeria NIGERIAN MOBILE SERVICE provider Globacom has a subscriber base of over 20mn, across many countries in Africa. The company has a reputation as one of the fastest growing multi-national carriers in the world. Since its launch in 2003, Globacom has strived to provide the best service and coverage with specific business-oriented services targeted at all small and medium enterprise (SME) segments. Globacom decided, recently, to upgrade its networks in order to provide its business customers with higher capacities at lower cost. As the subscriber base grew, so did the traffic demand. The existing network required a modernisation in order to keep up with increased data traffic from smartphones and notebooks. An expansion of the existing fibre cable was impractical as it was not nearly redundant enough to cope with the rash of fiber cuts in the southern part of Nigeria especially over the Port Harcourt-Owerri route. The modernisation had to cover both the access part of the network as well as significant portions of the backbone network.

Ceragon’s FibeAir IP-10 - MEF-certified for high capacity operation

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Ceragon delivered a turnkey solution, employing its long-term expertise and field-proven radio technologies, building high-capacity communication links over the entire territory of Nigeria. The project included network design, radio planning, site survey, network implementation, project management and ongoing support. For the access part of the network, Ceragon provided its advanced FibeAir IP-10G, engineered to deliver up to 2 Gbps of IP traffic per channel while it improves backhaul spectral efficiency by enabling higher download capacities in asymmetric scenarios. Deployed in all 850 access links, FibeAir IP-10G proved to be an ideal combination of quality and capacity at an affordable cost. The backbone network was upgraded using the innovative Evolution Long Haul multicarrier solution. With its unmatched combination of high performance and low power consumption, Evolution Long Haul is ideal for sites lacking access to commercial power lines and that could run only on diesel power. For sites with limited rack space, the unique split-mount configuration was the best choice. Combiner Space Diversity and various traffic-protection schemes provide reliable radio transmission even under degraded conditions. The solution is future-proof, enabling effortless upgrade to all-IP where a simple change of interface modules switches the running system to all-packet transmission. The entire network is managed via Ceragon’s comprehensive network management system (NMS).

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Building bandwidth density in Africa How ‘fibre through the air’ can help African operators overcome obstacles to further network development


ROADBAND ADOPTION REMAINS a major focus for countries across Africa. The advantages of sustaining knowledge based economies is driving operators, Governments and regulators to overcome political, cultural and economic barriers to deploy future proof infrastructure. Africa as a whole presents contrasting fortunes when it comes to broadband adoption. Operators in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and several North African countries are at an advanced stage with high bandwidth fixed line access and mobile 4G technology deployment. On the other hand, some other countries still lack the availability of 3G spectrum and any kind of legacy infrastructure to support broadband services. What is clear, however, is that countries at an advanced stage of broadband adoption can all point to key investments made in the availability and deployment of fibre. The presence of fibre is underpinning the availability of LTE services and providing the bandwidth density required to meet Africa’s broadband needs well into the future.

Fibre no longer a pipe dream Africa is no different to Western economies in its aggressive pursuit of fibre. Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable & Wireless and ongoing pursuit of Kabel Deutschland provides strong evidence on the importance of fibre to sustaining bandwidth density. The same focus applies in Africa with WIOCC aggressively driving fibre provision through its submarine and terrestrial networks. 24 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

WIOCC’s submarine fibre cable interconnects nine African countries along the eastern seaboard, delivering bandwidth of 4.72Tbps. Its terrestrial network brought together by its series of partners creates the largest terrestrial fibre footprint throughout southern and eastern Africa. It extends across more than 50,000 km of terrestrial fibre-optic network interconnecting more than 400 African locations across 30 countries. With a growing fibre infrastructure, Africa can look forward to driving its digital advancement. Yet despite its more widespread availability, African countries still face significant obstacles in making this bandwidth available across multiple countries. One of the biggest hurdles remains cost. With such a diverse range of landscapes and challenging geographies, laying fibre cables remains cost prohibitive for a great many African countries. Regulatory and political challenges also persist.

Controlling cost is crucial Unlike in some European countries, the prospect of African operators being able to share network infrastructure is fraught with challenges. Most developed European markets have a series of established operators that have each built network sites over a number of years. Each market has consolidated over time with just a small handful (rarely more than three) of major operators contesting for market share. With this level of saturation, very little, if any, competitive gain can be made by precluding rival operators from sharing network infrastructure. In fact, it is in the

operators’ interests to adopt these agreements to offset rising costs and sustain healthy profitability. The market landscape in Africa is very different. Smartphone adoption in more developed African markets is still relatively low. This is contributing to an ongoing mobile data land grab with operators keen to seize the initiative from their rivals. Another key point is that competition for these subscribers is rife, with a wide variety of operators looking to undercut each other in the battle for market share. In a mostly prepaid environment, operator revenues can therefore fluctuate, removing an element of financial certainty. This climate has made network sharing agreements impossible with most operators focused on building their own bandwidth, through their own infrastructure with their own resources. This has served to slow fibre deployment down as escalating costs take their toll on operators who are being forced to take a cautious approach to investment. Deploying fibre can cost operators up to US$200mn for a 1000 km link. This is contributing to operators taking a short term view when it comes to building a business case for its fibre infrastructure, pushing them further away from sharing agreements that would significantly benefit the country in the longer-term.

Shayan Sanyal, Chief Commercial Officer, Bluwan Complete analysis of broadband in Africa, by Shayan Sanyal, may be found at ✆

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African mobile operators are now getting customer’s message With myriad of operators to choose from, there is a need for dedicated communities to retain users and to enhance sales


FRICAN MOBILE OPERATORS are in positions of great strength in their markets — enjoying strong brand profiles and close relationships with their subscribers. However, the exalted positions of these carriers will be tested as Over the Top (OTT) messaging and social media services enter their markets. African operators still have the chance to take steps now to protect their subscriber relationships through the creation of their own communities — centred on messaging services.

On average, a typical user checks their mobile phone 23 times a day for messages, according to KPCB’s Internet Trends 2013

A position of strength? There are 650mn mobile users in Africa, surpassing the number in the US or Europe, according to the World Bank and African Development Bank. This is explained by the absence of a reliable fixed-line infrastructure in the continent. This development has resulted in Africans coming to rely heavily on their mobile operators. The mobile device in Africa is leveraged not just for communication, but also for many other services — such as financial services and banking. This has seen African mobile phone penetration increase rapidly over the past 12 years — from one per cent in 2000 to 54 per cent in 2012, according to Deloitte’s report The Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Observatory. This rocketing penetration has seen mobile carriers in these markets develop an extremely

Mike Grant, CMO, Myriad.

powerful presence. However, the robust market position they currently enjoy will soon come under threat.

Smartphones and the OTT threat As smartphone and data costs fall, the market penetration of consumers connected to the Internet over smartphones grows.

Smartphones allow OTT messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Line, and social media services such as Facebook, to leverage their more sophisticated features to engage communities of users without reference to the operator brand. OTT messaging services, in particular, represent a major threat to operators. The ability to share short messages quickly with family, friends and colleagues is central to meeting a basic human need to communicate. On average, a typical user checks their mobile phone 23 times a day for messages, according to KPCB’s Internet Trends 2013. This suggests messaging is, by far, the most popular service users utilise on their mobile phones. Operators generate 1520 per cent of their revenues worldwide from meeting this need through SMS. However, operators in developed markets, where connected smartphones are ubiquitous, have seen OTT players draw traffic, subscriber revenues and loyalty away from their businesses. Operators in the US, UK, Spain, Holland and even China are reporting falls in SMS revenue and traffic. In April this year, Informa Telecoms and Media estimated that daily traffic from WhatsApp and other OTT messaging services had already overtaken daily SMS traffic. Informa estimated that by the end of 2012, 41bn OTT messages will be sent every day, compared to 19.5bn SMS messages.

Operator branded OTT messaging services

There are 650mn mobile users in Africa

26 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

Fortunately, African operators have the time and the opportunity to take steps now that will allow them to retain, and enhance, the relationship they have with their subscribers. The opportunity exists to build operator branded OTT-like messaging communities. This type of community can enable an operator to grow alternative revenue streams through the sales and distribution of content within that ecosystem.

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Key to building such a community is to launch an OTT-like instant messaging service that encompasses both feature and smartphone users. Such a service is already being leveraged in the Latin American market — reaching 15mn mobile subscribers. This operator branded OTT service is available to both users of smartphones and feature phones. Moreover, it works across 3G and 2G data and SMS bearers, to provide a compelling and seamless user experience. As in Latin America, the majority of subscribers in Africa continue to use feature phones. In Nigeria, it is estimated that 89 per cent of the population relies on this type of device. In Kenya, that figure stands at 88 per cent, according to mobile advertising network BuzzCity. While smartphone penetration is growing, it will take several years before penetration reaches an adequate level where a consumer can connect to the majority of their friends and family over an OTT service. This evolution represents an opportunity for operators to build their own messaging communities up, prior to the entry of OTT players.

Access to social media communities such as Facebook is one of the key reasons that consumers in developed markets purchase data plans for Internet through handsets Engaging social media players In emerging markets, there is also strong demand from consumers for access to Facebook. Providing users with the access they desire to Facebook is difficult in markets where smartphone penetration is low and data is expensive. However, through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), a GSM protocol which enables handsets to communicate in real-time with operators’ servers, operators are able to offer a chargeable but low cost and effective text based versions of social media services. These services enable operators to provide subscribers with a low cost initial step on the data service ladder, demonstrating to users the value of data, and encouraging more rapid adoption of other data packages.

The journey to the mobile Internet By making these two compelling services, a rich, OTT like chat service and low cost access to social media available to all consumers, not just smartphone users, operators are able to evolve their relationship with subscribers. This

28 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


The KPCB graph shows a user’s preference in a mobile phone

The majority of subscribers in Africa continue to use feature phones as opposed to smartphones evolution means that the relationship between operators and subscribers in Africa will survive and prosper in an age where OTT players have come to dominate. Operators can have the ability to walk side by side with consumers on the journey they take into the OTT world. This journey can take customers from basic feature phones up to high-end smartphones, from low-cost SMS to high value data plans; and to the purchase of exciting, compelling content that helps users express how they feel as they chat with friends and family every day. By developing the subscriber relationship in this way the operator is not only protecting

their ARPU, they are also providing customers with the rich compelling experience of OTT messaging services. They are retaining and developing their relationship with subscribers through this market activity. The creation of subscriber communities around these services will ensure the operator can build brand loyalty with subscribers, protect existing revenues and pave the way for new added-value services. Moreover, it will enable operators to unlock new revenue streams over the months and years to come. As OTT players inevitably arrive in the African market to seek growth; they will discover that mobile operators are already there with a compelling, operatorowned messaging solution in place. The entry of OTT players will be viewed as simply an additional choice for the consumer — not a threat to the survival of the mobile operator. Messaging is going to continue to be a valuable asset for African mobile operators. ✆

‘Be feature, be smart for African mobile services market’ SMART PHONES ARE coming up in a big way in Africa but loyalty still lies with feature phones. In Nigeria, 67 per cent use mobile phones, 25 per cent of them use smartphones. Growth in Africa’s Internet and Broadband sector has accelerated in recent years due to improvements in infrastructure, the arrival of wireless access technologies and lower tariffs. International World Stats reveals that the Internet penetration in Africa in Q2 2012, seven per cent visa-vis the rest of the world. According to the report, West African country Nigeria topped the list with 48,366,179 users by June end 2012 whereas South Sudan has only 100 users. Nigeria also had the highest penetration rate with 28.9 per cent of the population using Internet. However, despite the growth in smartphone penetration, the vast majority of mobiles in Africa continue to be feature phones, and the most successful mobile services and marketing in the region are those making innovative use of these platforms, TNS said in a report. Developed-market mobile strategies cannot simply be imported to African countries, the agency added.

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Les objets connectés et applications M2M sur des marchés multi-domestiques


RANGE BUSINESS SERVICES et Ericsson ont renforcé leur positionnement sur le marché mondial du M2M (machineto-machine). Le M2M et plus largement l’internet des objets connaissent un essor dans de nombreuses applications et le développement des réseaux mobiles haut débit devrait renforcer cette croissance. C’est particulièrement le cas dans les secteurs de l’automobile et de l’électronique grand public pour qui ces solutions représentent un grand potentiel de développement de services. Les multinationales qui adressent différents marchés dans le monde doivent pouvoir s’appuyer sur une solution homogène d’un pays à l’autre et ce, tout en étant capables de répondre aux attentes spécifiques des utilisateurs dans chaque pays.

Des solutions M2M et des clients internationaux Orange Business Services a choisi la plateforme en mode cloud de gestion des objets connectés DCP (Device Connection Platform) d’Ericsson pour enrichir sa gamme de solutions M2M et renforcer le support auprès de ses clients internationaux. Cette solution permettra aux clients d’Orange Business Services de bénéficier de fonctionnalités de pointe pour déployer, faire évoluer et exploiter des millions de connexions M2M à l’échelle mondiale. Un portail de services disponible en permanence permettra aux clients d’accéder eux-mêmes et

Le M2M et plus largement l’internet des objets connaissent un essor dans de nombreuses applications directement à des fonctionnalités de gestion et de contrôle de leur base de cartes SIM installées, avec un accès en temps réel pour le suivi opérationnel, le soutien aux équipes métiers et l’accès aux statistiques d’utilisation. Les fonctionnalités de la plateforme Ericsson viennent renforcer la qualité de service globale d’Orange Business Services et la fluidité de l’expérience client. Orange Business Services propose déjà une gamme complète de solutions M2M à la carte (allant de la connectivité M2M aux solutions de bout-en-bout : conception, gestion de projet, services de conseil et support). Avec plus de 250 personnes dédiées au M2M, Orange Business Services offre une expertise reconnue dans l’innovation, l’intégration et le développement de solutions métier incluant notamment : la surveillance à distance des systèmes médicaux connectés, le diagnostic et la maintenance d’équipements, les compteurs intelligents (smart metering), la gestion de flottes ainsi que le suivi et la traçabilité. ✆

Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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Deleting the duplicates Fingerprint technology deployed by the Nigerian Communications Commission helps clean up the databases used for a national SIM card registration programme

Nigeria issues an estimated eight million new SIMS annually through various mobile network operators


INGERPRINT TECHNOLOGY DEPLOYED by the Nigerian Communications Commission helps clean up the databases used for a national SIM card registration programme. BIO-key International, which specialises in fingerprint biometric identification solutions, advanced cloud-based mobile credentialling and identity assurance technologies, has been working with information technology services firm SW Global to implement BIO-key’s fingerprint biometric technology as part of the Nigerian SIM (NSIM) Card Registration programme for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The NSIM programme has classified and biometrically enrolled the purchasers of over 110mn SIM cards, making it one of the largest biometric identity management projects in the world. BIO-key was selected by SW Global to provide cost-effective, highly accurate and scalable biometric identity solutions to support the enrollment and de-duplication of the country’s entire mobile phone user population. SW Global has emerged as one of the first globally competitive software development and application service provider companies out of Africa. The company has extensive experience designing and applying eGovernment solutions throughout Africa and other emerging markets. The Nigerian SIM Card Registration programme was set up to combat fraud and 30 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

criminal activity by securing the identities of Mobile Network subscribers nationwide. The goal was to implement a solution that is secure, cost effective, widely accepted, and integrates with other identity databases in Nigeria. The process includes enrolling subscribers and associating their identity with the ownership of SIM cards and mobile phone numbers. BIO-key’s fingerprint technology automates the detection of multiple identity holders, and ensures a permanent physical connection of every person to a single identity. Nigeria has an estimated 110mn SIM cards in use and issues approximately eight million new SIMs annually through multiple Mobile Network Operators. Historically, most of the issued SIM cards were for prepaid lines and were not registered before issuance. These anonymous mobile lines have been used in perpetrating fraudulent acts and other crimes without a means of tracing the activity back to the responsible party. NSIM intends to put an end to this anonymity to combat fraud and crime. Streamlined and modernised Dr Eugene Juwah, executive vice chairman/CEO of the NCC at a recent Security Summit convened by the Office of National Security advisor stated, “In making further analysis and consultations, the Commission became very convinced that registration of SIM Cards with full biometric identity of every subscriber in the network will go a long way in assisting the security agencies to fight crimes against lives and properties. SIM Card registration also provides a good opportunity for the nation to

The Nigerian SIM Card Registration programme was set up to combat fraud and criminal activity by securing the identities of mobile network subscribers nationwide accelerate the achievement of a National Registry of its citizens which has eluded this nation for a long time.” Anthony Nwachukwu, SW Global Limited COO, stated, “The National SIM Registration programme is an important milestone for the country, in that it can potentially provide every Nigerian citizen with a secure identity for accessing public and private services becoming available through mobile telephony. Nwachukwu continued, “We are proud to partner with BIO-key which is best in class in terms of identity solutions.” “Through our partnership with SW Global, we are delivering one of the largest commercial/civil identification programmes in the world using our core WEB-key AFIS biometric engine. When the database of registered users is fully scrubbed, each SIM card will be associated with a user and anonymous SIMs, which many times are used for criminal purposes, will no longer be active,” stated Mike DePasquale, BIO-key CEO. ✆

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Meeting the demand of the African data boom Africa is expected to see a post-mobile data revolution however mobile operators and other telecom companies in the continent still face many challenges


FRICANS LIKE THEIR mobile phones, too. So, surely the African continent will simply follow the same telecom development and usage pattern as the rest of the world, just maybe a little later? Well, not quite. Africa has proven to be somewhat different when it comes to mobile telephony; just look at the unexpected speed with which cellphone usage took off as it substituted for the lack of fixed-line networks and other key infrastructure. Africa has always had myriad challenges for mobile operators and other telecom companies to overcome: lack of or substandard infrastructure, political uncertainty, regulatory issues, challenging environments, vast and sparsely populated geographical areas to cover, unreliable energy supplies and poorer target groups. These challenges have been overcome with ingenuity and perseverance. Prepaid cards in small denominations sold in numerous mobile booths have given consumers with little money access to mobile telephony. Off-grid base stations are increasingly using green power solutions almost completely replacing the use of dirty and expensive diesel. Roaming costs are often lower than in the developed world, enabling communities separated by colonial borders to communicate. MPESA and other mobile money systems have revolutionised the way money is transferred, making it possible for almost everybody to use basic banking services. Africa is the next market for a data boom It is no great secret that the next big step for Africa is the “post-mobile data revolution”. The penetration of data in African markets is still low, even in South Africa, and prices are still high. And even if everybody agrees that data will take off in a big way, it is difficult to predict when it will happen and how fast. There are of course going to be a number of challenges to overcome. How can you best prepare to quickly respond to the anticipated demand without investing too much too early? The biggest challenge is infrastructure. High quality, efficient data centres are essential. They house and power all the equipment needed for transmission of data and are both the heart and brain of any network. But traditional builds for data centres take a lot of time to plan, coordinate (with different suppliers) and construct. Furthermore, challenging environments add a lot of risk to a data centre project, often resulting in delays and budget over-runs. Buildings for data centres are often not purpose built to be used as technical facilities, often with water leaks and other problems, as well as being over-dimensioned since they cannot be expanded quickly and easily.

Pre-fabricated modular data centres ideal for African networks The solution is pre-fabricated modular data centres. They are quicker to deploy and will in most cases save considerable time and money compared to traditional brick and mortar buildings. The facility will always be the “right” size since its modular structure makes it easy to quickly expand in response to changing needs. More efficient power and cooling will make a pre-fabricated data centre more cost effective to run. And quality, budget and the time plan can more easily be ensured for pre-fabricated purpose built facilities, bringing predictability to the project. 32 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

David King, CEO, Flexenclosure

It is no great secret that the next big step for Africa is the ‘post-mobile data revolution’ A pre-fabricated solution also makes it much easier to customise the data centre for specific needs and it can be deployed anywhere. Speed and predictability in challenging environments are critical issues in Africa considering it is the fastest growing mobile market in the world and the take off for data could be right around the corner. Pre-fabricated, modular and custom-designed data centres that can be deployed very quickly, and easily re-deployed if needed, is yet another innovative solution to an African problem (or rather African situation, since there is nothing problematic with fast growth). It is a solution that will allow data centre owners – internet service providers, hosting companies, mobile operators and banks in Africa respond quickly to the demand for data. ✆

David King, CEO, Flexenclosure

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Sharing radio waves New technologies allow the Internet and the broadcast industry to co-exist on airwaves


NFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS Technology (ICT) policy makers and experts from 35 countries said that TV broadcasting and broadband can share the same radio spectrum to help address Africa’s connectivity problems. The TV White Spaces & Dynamic Spectrum Africa Forum, which took place in Dakar (Senegal), convened more than 100 people comprising ICT regulators, Internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, academics and civil society organisations looking for innovative ways to improve Internet access on the continent. The event was held by Google, Microsoft, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), AFRINIC and the Internet Society Senegal Chapter. Wireless communication systems are recent concepts, which can detect interference and switch frequencies to unused wavebands, making much more efficient use of available radio spectrum. Surveys presented at the forum indicated that large swathes of the lower frequency bands allocated to broadcasting in Africa are almost completely unused. These wavebands, known as TV white space, can reach long distances and provide a low-cost solution for meeting needs for Internet access for people living in remote and rural areas. Despite the growth of mobile services and broadband access in many parts of the continent, Internet access continues to lag, and last mile access is one of the biggest challenges to increasing access in these regions.

Technologies to improve resource use Showcased at the forum were successful trials of the technology that have already taken place in South Africa and Kenya (as well as in the US and the UK). The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) co-organised a successful TV White Space awareness-raising workshop in South Africa in 2011, which helped to encourage the trials in South Africa and Kenya.

34 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

“What really impressed me about the forum was the sense of common cause amongst the participants to make better use of radio spectrum,” said Mike Jensen, APC’s Internet access specialist.

Despite the growth of mobile services and broadband access in many parts of the continent, Internet access continues to lag “This has overturned the commonly held view that all radio spectrum is a scarce resource. The forum also provided a venue for showcasing examples in Africa where more innovative use of our spectrum resources can meet some of the immediate connectivity needs in Africa, especially for rural areas. Aside from using these technologies in the TV frequencies, the model can also be used in other wavebands to make more efficient use of all our spectrum resources — a public good that needs to be exploited to the full in order to meet the needs of marginalised members of our societies.” The major conclusions that emerged from the forum were • TV White Spaces are available and underutilised Using its spectrum database, Google shared a visualisation of available white space in Senegal. There is more than 90 MHz available in Dakar alone, and more across the country spectrum that could be used for broadband. • Trials show the technology works in practice Trials in the Kenya, Malawi, Singapore, South Africa, the UK, and the US have demonstrated that broadband can coexist with licensed spectrum holders and provide broadband service. For example, Google,

the eSchools Network, TENET, and the Wireless Association Providers Association have led a TV White Spaces trial to provide broadband to 10 schools in Cape Town. CSIR shared initial results from the trial, which demonstrate that TV White Spaces radios can operate without interfering with TV broadcast. Similarly, in Kenya, a trial in a remote area of the country demonstrated a cost-effective and sustainable business model for Internet access provision by small-scale local entrepreneurs. • TV White Spaces policy is underway ICASA, the South African ICT regulator, plans to use the trial outcomes to evaluate possible rules for use of the TV White Spaces. Other regulators showing interest in TV White Spaces for broadband included Nigeria, Senegal and Malawi, where less than nine per cent of the population receives broadcast TV and many channels are left available. • Radios lower barriers to Internet Radio manufacturers shared how TV White Spaces radios can talk to a database, which tells the radio which channels are available in a given geography. White space equipment manufacturer Adaptrum shared results of the deployment in Kenya, while Carlson presented its successful deployment in South Africa. Database developers showed how the creation of common standards could help build an ecosystem of devices that works globally. Two initiatives that APC is discussing with partners to build on the success of the event are a ‘Shared Spectrum Alliance’ for Africa, which aims to bring together public interest groups to build capacity in advocating for use of shared spectrum for Internet access, and an Open Spectrum Data Initiative, to support ICT regulators in making their radio spectrum allocations publically available (on the Web). ✆

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Mobile payments enabling further growth How innovative banking solutions aim to foster development in sub-Saharan Africa, which has 57 million registered mobile money users


HERE ARE ALREADY more mobile money accounts in Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania and Uganda than bank accounts (GSMA 2012). And across sub-Saharan Africa, there are almost 57mn registered mobile money users. In Kenya, for example, the value of mobile money transactions is equivalent to more than 60 per cent of the country’s GDP. Mobile money's rapid adoption across Africa is due to the speed of its urbanisation. As a result, mobile money is going some way to meeting the needs of the underbanked and overcoming the limitations of a banking infrastructure playing catch-up. Developing nations, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, are now the innovators embracing new payment technologies as companies seek to drive economic growth through mobile payments. The potential of mobile money in Africa is clear and has led to an astonishing amount of initial growth, bringing new forms of payments to disenfranchised groups who simply could not access these types of services before and establishing itself as a vital part of African society. These payments can range from near field communication (NFC) to mobile money transfers and mobile prepaid.

But, how are these payment methods being implemented across Africa? How are retailers maintaining customer experience and loyalty in their efforts to drive payments and how are they educating consumers to use these new payment methods? NFC in Africa By allowing simple, secure swipe and pay, NFC has the potential to offer a practical and convenient solution. One that connects mobile users in a broader payment context – to retailers, services, trading points and transportation, without relying on cash. In addition, the low value transactions covered by NFC suits Africa’s spending profile perfectly – giving its population a practical solution to their payments issues. Enabling NFC payments and non-payment applications requires acceptance devices for a wide variety of environments and a secure software that provides integration of payment with value-added online services. More than this it also requires a vision of how to ensure merchants – from the largest to the smallest – can easily migrate to this new era with the confidence that their investments today will be viable as new capabilities and payment services come on-stream.

Mobile money's rapid adoption across Africa is due to the speed of its urbanisation NFC in Africa has, however, been met with a series of challenges, particularly in relation to education and the unbanked. However, its potential to drive economic growth in Africa still remains. While Africa’s adoption of NFC may be ahead of other nations, for it to truly succeed in this difficult market, it needs to roll out NFC enabled payment devices, or upgrade existing POS systems in tandem with NFC phone deployment. Loyalty is key Merchants will be faced with the challenge of integrating its services and providing a seamless experience at the point of sale. It is no longer enough to provide a solely mobile payments experience – Africa wants more! While implementing new technology, merchants must maintain the efficiency and targeted customer experience that mobile payments offer. They must also keep in mind the loyalty of consumers.

Whilst payment methods such as NFC/contactless are growing in developed areas such as South Africa, in more rural locations they simply lack the education to adopt new forms of payment.

Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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Allowing the customer to pay regardless of their location via a mobile POS not only allows for a seamless customer experience but it also reduces queues and prevents customers walking away.

In South Africa, however, loyalty and retention is tricky. The diversity in South Africa makes defining the ‘typical’ consumer impossible, but if there is a trait that seems to be shared it is a lack of loyalty to a particular retailer. In many other countries, retailers can rely on a certain inherent ‘stickiness’. This effect cannot be relied upon in Africa – instead, novelty and impulsiveness makes retention a more difficult proposition. In order to keep customers coming back, customer experience is key – particularly offering a dynamic customer experience. Part of that is giving the customer exactly what they want, and for many, this means going mobile. As the point of sale (POS) starts to converge, the need to enable ‘consumer to business’ payments via mobiles and mobile devices is becoming increasingly vital. Allowing the customer to pay regardless of their location via a mobile POS on the shop floor not only allows for a seamless customer experience but it also reduces queues and prevents customers walking away. For some retailers, the mPOS – a smartphone or tablet with software and hardware allowing payment acceptance – can actually be a more costeffective way to accept electronic payments. Educating on mobile payments Mobile money may be starting to meet the needs of the underbanked as well as driving loyalty, but there is still some way to go. A recent study by Visa showed that the primary

36 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

barriers to entry were ease of use and lack of trust in mobile money providers and agents. Both of these barriers can be overcome with education. For some, mobile money will be their first encounter with banking. Mobile money can offer extraordinary benefits for the underbanked, but these benefits need to be clearly communicated. How exactly this happens is currently up for debate – direct education may seem the most obvious route, but the ‘hole in the wall’ experiment in Delhi showed that giving people the tools and allowing them to innovate can be just as effective a teaching method, if not more so. By simplifying payment acceptance, VeriFone’s solutions make educating consumers simple and easy. Offering many different payment types, consumers are able to choose what VeriFone solution suits them best. Additionally, VeriFone’s network of regional partners understand the specific needs of banks and retailers and can provide the right training, service and support to meet individual needs and create customised solutions. Enabling mobile payments in Africa Mobile money has the potential to drive economic growth in Africa. In fact, it can be argued that as mobile payments continue to evolve it can drive far more innovation than developed countries. The proliferation of payment methods such as NFC, contactless payment, mobile prepaid and mobile money

transfers has shown that, as a country, Africa is ready for a new phase in payment innovation. Similarly, it highlights the opportunities that payment innovation can give to people which will only serve to drive economic growth.

By simplifying payment acceptance, VeriFone’s solutions make educating consumers simple and easy Despite the progress that Africa has made, retailers and businesses are still facing challenges. Whilst payment methods such as NFC/contactless are growing in developed areas such as South Africa, in more rural locations they simply lack the education to adopt new forms of payment. Retailers are also struggling to initiate loyalty programmes and maintain a high level of customer experience. However, VeriFone solutions are helping retailers to better understand the consumer and drive sales. Mobile payments present an undeniable opportunity for growth in Africa. Africa’s proven appetite for mobile means that once challenges such as education and loyalty are overcome, then mobile money will truly become the norm. ✆

Gabriel Swanepoel, business development manager, VeriFone Africa

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How to succeed with mobile solutions Mobile solutions have a huge potential to increase corporate efficiency - but beware the pitfalls of implementation


OBILE SOLUTIONS - IE software for PDAs and smartphones - have an enormous potential to improve efficiency and save big money for companies that today rely on time-consuming paper-based solutions. Industries such as fire safety, security, electrical, telecom, data, energy, power, construction, logistics, and heating/ventilation/cooling have much to gain by adapting modern mobile business solutions for their work forces. However, the transition from paper-based/manual/traditional solutions to advanced mobile solutions is filled with pitfalls. Many things can go wrong that can leave you with an inadequate, or in worst case, non-functioning solution. Mobile business solution expert Mikael Nilebacke, CEO of Erisma Technologies with more than 15 years of industry experience, shares his top ten advice on how to succeed with the implementation of mobile solutions:

1. Conduct a needs analysis Why do you need a mobile system? Do you want to be more effective? Do the clients demand more access to information? The answers will help you identify the specific functions you require in your mobile solutions. Prioritize functions that are really useful. Decide who will use the system and how much the system may cost. If you skip this step, there is a risk that the supplier’s sale team gains control over the process and create needs that do not really exist.

2. Engage and involve your employees in the process Try to engage and involve your staff in the process of implementing a mobile system as early as possible. Lead your employees through the entire procurement process and utilize the competence, experience and knowledge they possess. Engaging the staff from an early stage will make them motivated to implement the system/solution and showcase the benefits of a mobile solution.

Try to engage and involve your staff in the process of implementing a mobile system as early as possible Choose a supplier that is of "the right size": not small enough for you to risk ending up with a system that will disappear or cease to be updated, and not too big for the supplier to lose interest in you when you are no longer a key customer.

4. Contact all the references that you can find When contacting a reference that your supplier has given you - always try to read between the lines. Learn from how they use the system and think about ways your organization can benefit from this knowledge. Try to find your own references, at least three of them, and do not settle for just one. This will minimize the risk of spending time and money on the wrong system.

5. Keep the option to cancel the order Not all suppliers have sufficient knowledge and experience to deliver and implement their systems correctly. Try to negotiate an evaluation period with the option to cancel the order should you discover that the system is not right for you and your organization. You must be prepared to let go of the system if it does not deliver and solve the problems and/or fulfill the list of demands you created during your earlier needs analysis.

6. Listen to the supplier Once a supplier is chosen stick to your choice. Let them know what you want to achieve and be all ears to any good advice and feedback that the supplier can give you. Do not try to control the supplier too much - if you are unsure of the plan, ask them to explain.

3. Carefully choose a system and a supplier Usually, the important choice will be between a standard system and a customized system. I strongly recommend using standardized systems. The development of mobile technology is evolving very rapidly, which makes the standardized system more futureproof and flexible than the customized system. 38 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

7. One step at a time

Mikael Nilebacke, MD, Erisma Technologies

Avoid trying to do everything at once. Running several projects simultaneously will increase the complexity and can lead to devastating consequences. ✆

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Le large bande dans le monde Un rapport démontre pour la première fois la corrélation indéniable entre les plans nationaux pour le large bande et l'accès à des services abordables pour la population


ELON UN NOUVEAU rapport que l'UIT, la Commission sur le large bande au service du développement numérique et le fabricant d'équipements de réseau Cisco Systems viennent de publier conjointement, les pays ayant un modèle national bien défini pour le déploiement du large bande obtiennent de bien meilleurs résultats que les pays misant davantage sur le laisser-faire. Les données brutes recueillies par les analystes de l'UIT dans le cadre de nouvelles recherches menées pour l'élaboration du rapport Planning for Progress: Why National Plans Matter (Planifier le progrès: pourquoi les plans nationaux pour le large bande sont importants) indiquent que les

pays qui ont un plan national pour le large bande affichent, pour le large bande fixe, un taux de pénétration supérieur de 8,7% en moyenne à celui des pays qui n'en ont pas. Une fois les données pondérées compte tenu de l'incidence éventuelle de différents facteurs (revenu moyen par habitant plus élevé, concentration du marché et urbanisation), les recherches montrent que ce taux est en moyenne 2,5% plus élevé dans les pays dotés d'un plan que dans les autres pays – ce qui représente un avantage significatif dans une économie mondiale de plus en plus interconnectée. S'agissant des services mobiles, l'impact peut être même plus important, puisque les pays qui ont un plan national

enregistrent également, pour le large bande mobile, un taux de pénétration supérieur de 7,4% en moyenne à celui des pays qui n'en ont pas.

La progression du taux de pénétration du large bande Le rapport permet de conclure que la concurrence sur le marché compte elle aussi pour beaucoup dans la progression du taux de pénétration du large bande. Lorsque les marchés sont concurrentiels, le taux de pénétration est supérieur de quelque 1,4% en moyenne dans le cas du large bande fixe et il est même jusqu'à 26,5% plus élevé en moyenne dans le cas du large bande mobile. "Le message de la Commission sur le large bande concernant la capacité de cette technologie de transformer tous les secteurs de l'économie est aujourd'hui entendu partout dans le monde", a déclaré le Secrétaire général de l'UIT, le Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. "Les pouvoirs publics prennent conscience du fait que les réseaux large bande sont non seulement essentiels pour la compétitivité nationale, mais aussi indispensables pour fournir des services dans les domaines de l'éducation, des soins de santé, des services collectifs comme la distribution d'énergie et d'eau, de la gestion de l'environnement et pour assurer nombre de services publics. Le large bande est le catalyseur qui permet non seulement la communication entre les personnes, mais aussi entre les systèmes de machine à machine, sur lesquels s'appuiera le monde de demain." "Il est indéniable que les plans pour le large bande jouent un rôle important", a déclaré Robert Pepper, Vice Président de Cisco Systems chargé de la politique technologique mondiale. "Ils favorisent

l'adoption de cette technologie, et ainsi stimulent la croissance économique et renforcent la compétitivité nationale. Le rôle de la politique est de définir un modèle pour le développement du large bande et de garantir des conditions équitables qui permettront par la suite de faire fructifier les meilleures idées."

Les retombées économiques et sociales Le rapport fait en outre apparaître une forte augmentation récente du nombre de plans nationaux pour le large bande, puisque 134 plans étaient en vigueur mi-2013. Ces plans peuvent prendre des formes différentes (législations, cadres politiques, stratégies gouvernementales et/ou réglementations), mais tous mettent en avant le rôle vital du large bande dans l'amélioration de la compétitivité nationale et visent à élargir la couverture nationale des réseaux large bande et à renforcer l'utilisation des services et applications reposant sur cette technologie. Toujours selon le rapport, on peut s'attendre à des retombées économiques et sociales maximales lorsque les pouvoirs publics et le secteur privé travaillent en partenariat étroit et que les pouvoirs publics s'appuient sur la consultation et la participation des grandes parties prenantes pour élaborer la politique en matière de large bande. ✆ Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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How small cells are helping connect rural Africa Small cell infrastructure and high throughput satellite backhaul are making it profitable for mobile operators to expand into remote areas


HE AFRICAN CONTINENT is a primary focus for the satellite communications industry. In recent years, growing demand for connectivity diminished the supply of available capacity, putting Africa’s economic and social development at risk, with SubSaharan nations hit particularly hard. Today, the satellite industry is launching an abundant amount of new capacity over the Sub-Saharan region. Ku-band capacity in the region is forecasted to increase by 32 per cent, from roughly 445 TPEs (Transponder Equivalents) in 2012 to about 588 TPEs by 2022, according to Northern Sky Research (NSR). There will also be brand new capacity covering the region from next-generation high throughput satellite (HTS), with scheduled launches by Intelsat, EMC/ArabSat, Avanti and NewSat. NSR projects 30.85 Gbps of GEO and 15.48 Gbps of MEO high throughput capacity will be available by 2022. This development is critically important as HTS promises to lower the overall cost of satellite capacity per Mb, making connectivity more affordable. This new capacity will drive growth for many applications across the continent from Directto-Home to consumer broadband access. And it will also breathe life into enterprise markets, including banking, oil and gas, maritime, and government/military. One market where it will have a big impact is the mobile industry as backhaul will be one of the biggest satellite capacity drivers in the region. New HTS capacity, combined with the growing use of small cell infrastructure, means mobile operators may have a much more affordable solution to expand their network coverage into remote and rural areas.

urban and rural markets. But there is no costeffective way to lay fibre across Africa’s expansive land mass. Microwave devices are an alternative, but line of sight constraints and the cost of deployment and maintenance usually knock microwave from contention. While these challenges are understandable, they leave a major percentage of the African population unconnected.

Small cells shrink mobile infrastructure costs New satellite capacity is clearly on its way. And it is fortunately timed with a major development from the mobile industry: the emergence of small cell infrastructure as a compact, easily deployable, much more affordable alternative to cell towers. Small-cell devices are compact base stations that were originally deployed in developed nations to offload network traffic in

highly concentrated areas or to improve coverage for specific locations. Small-cell devices have been deployed in homes that are beyond the reach of macro cells and in dense public areas with high traffic demands, such as shopping malls and sports stadiums. Small-cell infrastructure delivers some major benefits over macro cells. Given their size, they can be deployed much more costeffective and quickly. They take advantage of self-organizing network functionalities. That means planning is greatly simplified, and installation can be done by a less technical person. And small cells have lower power requirements, which is a critical benefit in remote locations. Today, mobile operators have discovered that they can utilize the same small-cell infrastructure to offer targeted voice and data service to remote locations in developing nations.

Current challenges to mobile network expansion To date, mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa have been slow to expand their networks into remote areas. Remote locations are costly to service. Traditionally, mobile operators would need to build out macro towers across wide stretches of rugged rural landscape to serve thousand of scattered villages. Needless to say, this is not economically feasible. Beyond that, there’s the question of backhaul. Fibre is typically used in core 40 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

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A new generation of outdoor-grade rural small cells have been developed that can cost-effectively cover a rural village. For example, a 3G HSPA small cell can broadcast coverage across a one-kilometre range, supporting up 32 simultaneous voice calls and up to 16 Megabits per second download speeds.

Improved satellite infrastructure and HTS lowers backhaul costs While small cells lower infrastructure costs, mobile operators must still contend with backhaul costs to make the business case for expansion into remote areas. Satellite IP networks have been used to backhaul 2G voice traffic from base stations to the core network for many years. Mobile operators have adopted satellite for its unique advantages. Satellite has ubiquitous coverage and can be easily and quickly deployed over a large geographic area, bypassing the challenges of distance and terrain that impede fibre and microwave. Advances in satellite technology over the last decade have largely overcome issues of data speed and latency, so that today’s IP-oversatellite systems can deliver two-way IP connectivity that is fast and reliable. Modern satellite systems are also largely immune to the effects of adverse weather conditions, delivering high levels of availability and resilience. Further, satellite has shifted from an SCPC model to TDMA model. TDMA-based satellite networks like those developed by iDirect have proved to be an economical fit for low-density sites that are scattered across large expanses and are characterized by dynamic traffic patterns. With TDMA, multiple sites under the same satellite footprint can costeffectively share bandwidth based on each site’s real-time demand. Mobile operators only need to pay for the bandwidth they use, in contrast to traditional SCPC links where bandwidth is set at a fixed size determined by peak volume. As mobile operators look now to extending 3G and 4G networks, the picture changes. Supporting data traffic requires greater amounts of satellite capacity, which translates to higher operating costs in areas where capacity is already highly constrained. Here the answer is HTS capacity. HTS promises to lower the cost of satellite bandwidth, making satellite an affordable backhaul solution for both voice and data. Many estimates project that HTS capacity will cost as low as 25 per cent to 33 per cent of non-HTS capacity. iDirect and Informa have run several business case analyses to determine probability margins for remote networks supported by small cells and HTS. These studies suggest that mobile operators can achieve a margin greater than 30 per cent per site, which makes an undoubtedly strong business case.

How big is the remote market? In their core markets, mobile operators are fighting for closely-held market share. There’s limited room to add new subscribers. So the remote market has natural appeal as a source of growth. Remote geographies are home to a largely untapped population. In at least 12 Sub-Sahara Africa nations, penetration rates are below 50 per cent, according to Informa. See chart 1. Across all of Africa, the penetration rate for mobile telephony is only 59.8 per cent, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Fixed telephone is nearly non-existent at 1.4 per cent. Mobile broadband is only 7.1 per cent with fixed broadband even lower at 0.3 per cent. Only 5.3 per cent of households have Internet access, and 14.3 per cent of the population uses the Internet. See chart 2. Informa projects that by the end of 2016, global mobile subscriptions will be close to eight billion, up from 6.73bn subscribers on record in June 2013. A large percentage of the more than one billion new subscribers will come from remote and rural locations. And according to Informa, CAGR subscription growth in a number of sub-Saharan countries is expected to be in the order of 15-20 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

42 Communications Africa Issue 5 2013

Richard Deasington, director vertical markets at iDirect 3G technology provides a more profitable path to serving rural subscribers in both developing and developed countries. For many of these customers, 3G service represents the most affordable access to high-speed Internet connectivity, sometimes even the only access. According to the ITU only 15.8 per cent of the population in developing countries has Internet access and only 22.5 per cent have a computer. In the future, Internet access will primarily be through mobile devices, and this represents a significant opportunity for mobile operators. In fact, a new report by Cisco projects overall mobile data traffic will grow annually at a CAGR of 66 percent from 2012 to 2017, with the Middle East and Africa experiencing the highest CAGR of 77 percent.

The payoff Mobile operators in Sub-Saharan Africa have a fresh path to rural expansion. A new generation of small-cell infrastructure technologies are significantly more cost-effective and easier to install than macro-cell technologies. HTS capacity is coming online in big numbers and promises to substantially lower the cost of satellite bandwidth. And modern TDMAbased satellite ground infrastructure systems from iDirect can deliver carrier-class, IP connectivity that is ideally suited to 3G and 4G networks. All this means mobile operators can find new subscribers beyond saturated core markets. They can affordably serve rural areas, extend their coverage to serve existing subscribers and offer roaming connectivity to travellers. And they can bring connectivity to populations that have long suffered without it, advancing social and economic development in Africa. ✆

Richard Deasington, director vertical markets at iDirect

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Supporting MNCs in mobility management ORANGE BUSINESS SERVICES and MobileIron are working together on the development of a new version of Device Management Premium managed service, a smartphone and tablet management system for fleets of more than 300 devices. This partnership with MobileIron will go beyond traditional mobile fleet management functions, user profile and device management, security policy application, configuration of embedded apps, mobile personalisation, to offer an advanced, highly secure version of the solution. Available in either a private or cloud mode, this version will feature, application management to address bring your own device (BYOD), fleet managers can create a secure barrier between personal and professional applications and data. Each business application will communicate with the company's server via a distinct and secure tunnel, and the application data stored on the device will be automatically encrypted. It will also have a content management system where employees can view and save the documents they need to work on the go using their tablet or smartphone. Access to certain resources can be restricted or limited to read-only based on users' profiles and data sensitivity. The documents saved will be stored in an isolated container which the administrator can remotely delete if the device is lost or stolen. MobileIron CEO Bob Tinker said, “Enterprise mobility is complex and our partnership with Orange Business Services brings together the top technology and services that MNCs need to be able to make mobile a primary computing platform.”

AML uses IT solutions to track mine expansion project ONLINE PROJECT COLLABORATION solutions provider Aconex has been engaged by African Minerals (AML) to support rail, port and infrastructure development for the Pepel35 expansion of the Tonkolili Iron Ore Mining Project in Sierra Leone. AML and its team of contractors will use the Aconex Online Collaboration Platform to manage documents, drawings, correspondence and other project information, as well as workflows for process control and audit records. AML IT group head Gareth Burton said, “After a very successful phase one infrastructure build-out, we have decided to enhance our relationship with Aconex. This will enable us to coordinate the activities of a project team of more than 25 contractor organisations and keep stakeholders informed of our progress from a secure, neutral platform. “All system users on Pepel35 will follow uniform processes for communications, document sharing and review and approval tracking. The Aconex platform will improve AML’s overall control of the project, while allowing contractors to retain ownership and control of their own information.” AML plans to use application programming interfaces to integrate the Aconex platform with its internal document management, scheduling and costing systems, so that project-related data can be transferred between them as required. Aconex general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Herve Hamelin said, “Pepel35 is an important project win in the global mining sector for us. The deal expands our presence in the African market. We look forward to supporting AML’s success as mine production increases and its supply chain grows.”

Microsoft brings X-Gen technology to capital market MICROSOFT NIGERIA BROUGHT technology to capital market operators at the X-Gen Expo, which was organised by the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). X-Gen is a new electronic trading platform that will allow stockbrokers and other stakeholders access the market anywhere, anytime. The expo provided an avenue for market shareholders and solution providers to discuss the functionalities and usage of the X-Gen. On display at the Microsoft exhibition stand also was the Microsoft Office 365, a cloud service which requires no hardware investment. The meet also provided market operators the opportunity to learn more about the potential business impact of Office 365 and explore its power and functionality during a hands-on demo by officials of Ha-shem Network Services Limited, a Certified Microsoft Gold Partner. The Microsoft Office 365 has the potential to fuel business and economic transformation by delivering cost-effective, flexible access to enterprise-class IT and also provides the productivity backbone for modern businesses. Office 365 also brings together Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft Lync Online in an always-up-to-date service, at affordable cost. These tools put email, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant

44 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

Microsoft’s new generation business tools guarantee efficiency and effectiveness of commercial activities

messaging, Web portals, extranets, video conferencing, web conferencing and more at everyone’s fingertips. NSE chief executive officer Oscar Onyema described the X-Gen Expo as the first of its kind since inception of the NSE in 1960 and said, “XGen symbolises NSE’s untiring commitment to delivering a first rate technology platform that will enable our members build and grow their businesses, and the investing community experience a more efficient market when they buy and sell securities.” Speaking on new trading possibilities for

the Nigerian capital market, NSE executive director, market operations and technology Ade Bajomo noted that the new trading models will support algorithm trading, customer driven electronic trading, direct market access and high frequency trading, amongst others. Bajomo said, “The system when introduced is expected to improve transparency, market access, audit trail and provide efficient price discovery in the market, thereby enabling investors to realise their investment objectives by using products currently offered at the Exchange in more meaningful ways.”

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SkyVision installs new satellite solution SATELLITE AFRICA DISHSKYVISION has finished installing a satellite network solution for the National Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives. SkyVision has announced that it has completed the installation of a private satellite network solution for the National Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (UNACOOPEC-CI) in Côte d'Ivoire. SkyVision said that UNACOOPEC, which specialises in microfinance, banking, and insurance, requires a very secure and efficient communications network. SkyVision, provider of IP connectivity over satellite and fiber optic systems, has designed a new solution which provides a secured and managed satellite-based private network that connects all 97 UNACOOPEC-CI branches throughout Côte d'Ivoire. SkyVision CEO Doron Ben Sira said, “We regard this deployment as an integral part of SkyVision’s continuing expansion in providing unique solutions for a broad range of customers. “SkyVision truly values UNACOOPEC-CI’s business, professionalism and commitment and is pleased to be able to meet their precise needs.” According to SkyVision CEO, the project involved network design, full HQ hub and teleport facilities installation, remote sites installation and commissioning, training and customer network management. Sira added, “UNACOOPEC, now has a fully supported voice and data communications, throughout the country.”

EbonyLife TV Goes Live with PlayBox Technology EBONYLIFE TV HAS chosen a complete broadcast system from PlayBox Technology for a new channel transmitting in high definition by direct satellite to subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. The installation includes ingest, storage, content management, channel branding and playout automation using PlayBox Technology’s flagship AirBox and TitleBox servers. EbonyLife TV is based at Studio Tinapa, Nigeria’s ultramodern ‘Nollywood’ movie production centre at Calabar in Cross River State. EbonyLife TV founder and seasoned broadcaster Mo Abudu said, “We wanted a no-hassle complete automation workflow from one vendor. PlayBox Technology has an excellent reputation in Africa and worldwide both for the robustness of its control and playout systems and for the efficient support it provides during initial planning, installation, training and onsite testing. “Our production staff like the system’s fast and logical user interface which gives them all the information and control they need to perform each specific task. Our technical management team recognise and appreciate the system’s reliability. Knowing that it works and is fully-

protected by redundant PlayBox Technology servers, we are able to concentrate on our main objective of originating entertaining and informative programmes.” PlayBox Technology managing partner and director, sales Don Ash said, “EbonyLife TV produces a large proportion of its content in house. For that reason, it needed a solution which could capture and pass live video and audio content as well handle pre-prepared files. The system we have provided is capable of easy expansion if or when the station introduces additional channels. It was installed over a two week period prior to the channel going live at the beginning of July.” PlayBox Technology UK sales director Ben Gunkel said, “The system was assembled in our test centre and configured to suit the requirements of EbonyLife before being delivered. Dual high-definition servers drive the channel output. The media asset management and traffic system power the operation before going to air. A PlayBox Technology MAM server allows operators to access their growing content library. The traffic system provides advanced scheduling with forward planning and reporting for the advertising sales team.”

The PlayBox technology system installation includes ingest, storage, content management, channel branding and playout automation

Cobham to aid Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 broadcast TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS PROVIDERS Cobham has been named the Volvo Ocean Race’s broadcast equipment partner for 2014-15. The company will provide its technical infrastructure to enhance the viewing experience at the race villages along the route. The participants will cover the longest route ever selected for the event with the 12h edition of the race starting in Spain’s Alicante and visiting Recife, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajai, Newport, Rhode Island, Lisbon, Lorient and Gothenburg. Cobham’s technology will use Internet Protocol platforms to provide broadcast-quality high definition content through wireless transmission and available Internet access points globally. For the broadcaster, this will reduce transmission costs, enable real time distribution to a global audience and allow more flexible broadcast production.

46 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

Cobham vice president of tactical communications and surveillance David Ashton said, “The opportunity to be involved in the live broadcast of the Volvo Ocean Race, arguably the world’s toughest sporting event, is incredibly exciting. “Our engineers are looking forward to working with the Volvo Ocean Race to deploy a flexible, innovative solution that will perform in the most challenging environments.”

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Intel’s customised chips for Big Data applications INTEL HAS REVEALED plans to tune chips for managing workloads in Big Data applications. Intel Big Data solutions general manager Ron Kasabian said that the software has become an important building block in chip design and customisation will help applications gather, manage and analyse data a lot quicker. Through hardware and software improvements, the company will try to figure out how its chips can perform better in areas like predictive analytics, cloud data collection and specific task processing.

The company has already released its own distribution of Hadoop, a scalable computing environment that deals with large data sets and now chip improvements are on tap. Kasabian said Intel will be starting with the software. He said, “It takes a while to get silicon to market. We understand

where we can optimise for silicon, and there are certain things to improve for performance and optimisation. The company is taking lessons from software implementations and then looking to enhance the silicon to fill any software gap, Kasabian said, adding that the chipdesign process takes about two years. Server makers have been customising servers specifically to carry out Big Data workloads, and improvements at the chip and instruction-set level could speed up task execution. Different industries have different implementations of Big Data, Kasabian said. For example, a Big Data problem in genomics could differ from one in telecommunications. Intel is also entering the space of the Internet of things, an emerging field in which networked devices with embedded processors and sensors are used as datagathering instruments. Outside of the silicon, Intel is focusing on providing the right software tools for data centres. Hadoop was the starting point, and now Intel will be looking closely at analytics, Kasabian said. Attaching Intel’s name to Hadoop will “kind of ease the mind of folks in enterprises,” Kasabian said, adding that implementation of the platform in data centres will be easier. A lot of research is also taking place at Intel labs on stream processing and graph analytics as the company designs chips and tweaks software. “We’re looking at all the big industry categories,” Kasabian said.

Logitech’s TK820 Wireless keyboard LOGITECH HAS LAUNCHED a new wireless all-in-one keyboard going by the moniker TK820. The Logitech PerfectStroke key system design has been employed in the device. The sleek wireless all-in-one keyboard TK820 is greyish in colour highlighted by blue. Apart from its wireless construct, the large touchpad affixed to the right side is another talking point of the TK820. By downloading the SetPoint software, users can take advantage of the Windows 8 multi-touch gestures numbering up to 13. Support for point, zoom and swipe functions have also been enabled on the keyboard, amongst others. A unifying receiver which works on 2.4GHz connectivity can the hook the device to PCs. However, the device is being considered not so suitable for gaming although the wireless technology used in this Logitech creation holds up well against interferences.

Communications Africa Issue 6 2013


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Mozambique to install radio telescope at Maluane THE MOZAMBICAN GOVERNMENT has revealed plans to install a radio telescope at the Maluane science and technology park in Manhica district, about 90km north of Maputo. The installation of the radio telescope, budgeted at about US$336,000, was announced in early August by the minister of science and technology Louis Pelembe. Pelembe explained that currently the land where the telescope will be erected was being prepared. “Because of the size of the telescope, the space where the foundations will be laid must be properly prepared”, he said. A joint statement issued by the Mozambican and South African delegations said that the Maluana Radio Telescope Project will provide “benefits towards a knowledge economy”. It would “give impetus to the economy of Mozambique in future” and would become “a training tool to ensure Mozambique's involvement in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA)” The SKA will be the world’s largest radio telescope, although, to be more precise, it will not be a single installation, but a series of thousands of radio receptors located in southern Africa and in Australia. By increasing the collecting area of a radio telescope its sensitivity is also increased, allowing it to pick up weaker signals from far away galaxies that smaller radios will miss. The African part of the SKA is centred on the Karoo desert in South Africa, but will extend into seven other countries, including Mozambique. The first precursor telescope of the SKA began operating on 9 July 2013 in Australia.

Botswana to soon have approval standards for communications equipment BOTSWANA’S NEW COMMUNICATIONS regulator has issued a communiqué advising the country’s companies and citizens to seek approval for the use of various communications equipment. Established at the beginning of April 2013, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has kicked off massive enforcement of regulations in the country’s communications sector. BOCRA spokesperson Aaron Nyelesi said type approval of equipment is intended to ensure that all communication equipment used on the country’s networks are electrically safe, electromagnetically compatible and capable of internetworking with other equipment without causing interference. Nyelesi said the development is in line with the Communications Regulatory Authority Act of 2012. “The Act prohibits the use of any equipment which has not been type approved by BOCRA,” said Nyelesi. The call to seek endorsement could affect radio communication equipment and telecommunication equipment such as radar systems, two way radios, satellite communication equipment and radio transmitter equipment. In addition, it also includes all types of telephone sets including cordless, facsimile, GSM station equipment, handsets and all types of modems. The authority further specifies that all necessary auxiliary test equipment, the setting up instructions of the equipment and other product information should be type approved as well. BOCRA monitors telecommunications, internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs), commercial radio and television communications broadcasting, postal services and other related matters.

Advanced weather satellite Insat-3D launched AN INDIGENOUS ADVANCED weather satellite, Insat-3D, with newly-developed equipment to study the atmosphere was launched recently from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guyana. An Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) official said that the new equipment, known as atmospheric sounder, will be the first geostationary sounder system over the Indian Ocean. A sounder is a scanner which studies the atmosphere. With a mission life exceeding seven years, Insat-3D will have a lift off mass of 2,060kg and will be equipped with an improved

Insat-3D will be equipped with an improved imaging system

imaging system, a satellite-aided search and rescue payload and a data relay transponder.

Insat 3D will be carried by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket along with another foreign

satellite, marking the 70th flight of the rocket. The Isro official noted that the flight of Insat-3D will be followed by the launch of the Geo Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with an indigenous cryogenic engine, in the middle of August. This flight is crucial because two missions of the GSLV had failed in 2010, one in April with the first indigenous cryogenic engine, and the other in December with a Russian engine. Towards the end of August, multi-band communication satellite GSat-7 will be launched by Ariane 5 from Kourou.

Huawei launches Ascend P6 in South Africa HUAWEI HAS UNVEILED its Ascend P6 smartphone, one of the world’s slimmest smartphones measuring a mere 6.18mm. The Ascend P6 smartphone features a 1.5GHz quadcore processor and a sleek metallic body. It is equipped with a 4.7-inch high definition in-cell display, industry-leading 5MP front-facing camera, and outstanding software. Huawei Device eastern and southern Africa region managing director Peter Hu said, “Huawei’s reputation for technology is as a result of over 20

48 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

years experience in the ICT sector. Our smartphones are reasonable in price, yet offer the latest technology and high quality performance.” As the flagship smartphone of the Huawei Ascend P series, the Ascend P6 embodies a cutting edge design for the fashion conscious. The smartphone has a metallic brush and naturally curved base. The Ascend P6’s 5MP front-facing camera and auto facial-enhancing capabilities of the phone can help generate glamorous shots. Its 8MP rear-facing BSI camera with F2.0 aperture and 4cm macro view

also enables 1080P full HD video recording and playback. The phone’s IMAGESmart software can turn even the most novice photographer into a professional, with contrast and colour enhancement, auto scene recognition, and object tracing focus. The Ascend P6 is also equipped with Huawei’s Emotion UI. Inspired by people, for device users worldwide, Huawei has gathered input from more than five million consumers to help us optimise the latest version of Emotion UI.

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FG Wilson

JMG wins telecommunications contract in Nigeria The FG Wilson dealer will aid MTN Nigeria to modernise mobile communication in the West African country


MG, AN OFFICIAL FG Wilson dealer in Nigeria and one of FG Wilson’s worldwide network of 370 dealers, has been appointed by the largest mobile operator in West Africa to help power a US$9.6mn modernisation of Nigeria’s mobile communications network. The project will see JMG deliver power solutions for MTN Nigeria’s network upgrade. With nearly 50 years’ experience of delivering world-class power solutions throughout Africa, JMG has been a partner of FG Wilson for 15 years. The telecoms giant offers mobile network services and business solutions to more than 45mn subscribers and currently provides network coverage to almost 90 per cent of Nigeria’s land mass. The power solution to be delivered for MTN by JMG will involve the installation of 12 high-capacity FG Wilson generator sets at MTN switch locations in Asaba, Lagos, Kano and Ibadan. The installation is expected to provide Nigeria with

50 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

enhanced network coverage to meet the population’s increasing mobile communications capacity requirements. The initial three-month installation project will encompass the supply and installation of six 2,000 kVA, three 1,500 kVA and three 1,250 kVA generator sets. JMG will also be supplying high voltage installations in order to conclude the project, company sources said. Mazen Jubaili, JMG’s managing director, said, “We have a proven pedigree of delivering world-class power solutions for some of the most significant projects in Nigeria and it is a strong endorsement of our work that MTN Communications has entrusted us with this contract. We look forward to commencing work on the project and bringing our renowned technical expertise to bear in overcoming any challenges presented. “By working with FG Wilson to ensure the generator sets are delivered on time, we are confident the mobile communications power infrastructure upgrade will be

“Building on our existing relationship with JMG, this project will enable MTN to further enhance our reputation for providing a world-class cellular network across Nigeria.” successfully concluded to specification and on schedule to meet the urgent demand for increased mobile network services and quality of service in Nigeria.” Lynda Saint-Nwafor, chief technical officer of MTN Nigeria, added that JMG was ideally positioned to deliver the power infrastructure upgrade to meet their expectations. “Building on our existing relationship with JMG, this project will enable MTN to further enhance our reputation for providing a world-class cellular network across Nigeria.” ✆

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Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm Technologies, et des petites cellules de nouvelle génération ALCATEL-LUCENT ET QUALCOMM Technologies ont annoncé leur projet de collaboration pour développer des stations de base small cells (petites cellules) qui amélioreront la qualité de connexion des réseaux 3G, 4G et Wi-Fi dans des environnements résidentiels et professionnels. Ces petites cellules de nouvelle génération devraient allier le savoir-faire et la capacité d’innovation d’Alcatel-Lucent dans le domaine des solutions de petites cellules aux technologies de réseau et de télécommunications mobiles de pointe de Qualcomm Technologies pour mettre en œuvre des communications très haut débit mobile. Ce projet de collaboration réunit deux leaders du marché des communications mobiles dans le cadre du développement de petites cellules qui amélioreront la réception des réseaux cellulaires dans des zones telles que les espaces urbains denses, les centres commerciaux ou d’autres lieux d’activités professionnelles. Compte tenu de la popularité croissante des smartphones, tablettes et autres terminaux mobiles permettant d’accéder à des vidéos et des jeux consommateurs de bande passante, les opérateurs de réseau mobile et les fournisseurs de services se tournent vers les

Les petites cellules de nouvelle génération devraient allier le savoir-faire et la capacité d’innovation d’Alcatel-Lucent

petites cellules pour faire face, à moindre coût, à la forte croissance de la demande en capacité de transmission de données mobile et en couverture réseau. En travaillant de concert, Alcatel-Lucent et Qualcomm Technologies entendent accélérer l’adoption des petites cellules sur le marché et atténuer l’impact du trafic de données sur les réseaux mobiles. Pour faciliter cette accélération, les deux sociétés devraient investir conjointement dans un programme stratégique de R& D pour développer la nouvelle génération de petites cellules lightRadio d’Alcatel-Lucent qui incluront la famille des processeurs petites cellules FSM9900de Qualcomm Technologies. L'investissement devrait être partagé entre Alcatel-Lucent et Qualcomm Technologies.

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ADVERTISERS INDEX Company .................................................................................... page Amos Spacecom ................................................................................7 Anritsu A/S ......................................................................................43 ArabSat ............................................................................................10 Asia Broadcast Satellite ..................................................................13 Ceragon Networks Ltd ....................................................................47 Comviva Technologies Ltd. ..............................................................23 Dolphin Telecoms ............................................................................17 Eaton Industries GmbH......................................................................9 Eutelsat ............................................................................................21 F G Wilson Engineering Ltd. ..............................................................5 Gazprom Space Systems, JSC..........................................................51 GL Communications ........................................................................15 Intelsat..............................................................................................27 Interactive Intelligence ....................................................................14 Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd. ................................................................54 Liquid Telecommunications Ltd. ......................................................19 MEASAT Satellite Systems ..............................................................41 PCCW Global Ltd ..............................................................................45 Rohde and Schwarz International Operations GmbH ....................31 RSCC (Russian Satellite Communications Company) ....................37 Safran Morpho ................................................................................29 SatADSL............................................................................................33 Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. ................................Cover wrap Sky Vision Global Networks ..............................................................2 Telecom Italia Sparkle S.p.A. ..........................................................53 THAICOM Public Company Ltd. ......................................................49 WIOCC ..............................................................................................25

52 Communications Africa Issue 6 2013

Commentant cette collaboration, Michel Combes, directeur général d’Alcatel-Lucent, a déclaré : « Cette initiative est une parfaite illustration du Plan Shift que nous avons annoncé le mois dernier, et qui va permettre à Alcatel-Lucent de centrer son activité sur des technologies en croissance telles celles facilitant l’accès très haut débit. Nous avons également déclaré que nous rechercherions activement des partenariats avec des acteurs clés du marché. « En collaborant avec Qualcomm Technologies, un leader mondial des solutions avancées de plateformes mobiles comme les processeurs petites cellules, Alcatel-Lucent continuera de se positionner à la pointe de l’innovation sur le marché des petites cellules. » Et Paul E Jacobs, président et directeur général de Qualcomm Incorporated, d’ajouter : « Les petites cellules permettent d’augmenter fortement la capacité réseau au plus près de l’utilisateur ; elles peuvent non seulement préparer les opérateurs à un trafic de données mobile qui, selon les prévisions, sera multiplié par 1000, mais également améliorer considérablement l’expérience des abonnés mobiles. »

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