Nokia has enabled ultra-fast 5G services for Vodacom South Africa’s customers by deploying its 5G radio, core and fixed network solutions across Vodacom’s network. Vodacom is using Nokia’s 2G, 3G, 4G and fibre access networks, as well as 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) and mobile broadband services.
Nokia is supplying its AirScale, Fastmile and Subscriber Data Management (SDM) / Home Subscriber Server (HSS) products to Vodacom to enhance its service offering and deliver increased operational efficiencies.
Nokia’s AirScale radio network product portfolio will enable Vodacom to deploy 5G services across several spectrum bands, including the new 3500 MHz, 2600 MHz and 700/800 MHz bands which will be auctioned by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) before the end of March 2021. It will help to manage the increased demand for data services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 5G network rollout is in line with South Africa’s broadband policy of building infrastructure by 2030 for an inclusive knowledge economy which supports the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).
Vodacom will also use Nokia’s FastMile 5G gateway to offer FWA broadband services in areas not currently served by a fibre network. The solution is easy for subscribers to install, delivering fibre like speeds to homes while using Wi-Fi to connect devices within the home. Vodacom is also using Nokia’s mesh Wi-Fi solution, which improves user experience by creating a seamless Wi-Fi coverage area while reducing the time and complexity required to install and manage the WiFi network.
Nokia’s cloud-based SDM software and HSS will be rolled out to securely manage subscriber data and services in a centralized hub. Vodacom South Africa will also utilize Nokia’s NetAct network management system, which is cloud-agnostic and meets customer demands for software-only delivery. It can be deployed on the same data center platforms as existing IT and network systems for increased agility and lower operational costs.
Beverly Ngwenya, Technology Director at Vodacom South Africa, said: “We are committed to providing the most innovative products and highest quality service to our subscribers. 5G technology allows us to deliver ultra-fast mobile networks and support entirely new use cases as we move into the 4IR era. Nokia has been our network partner for more than two decades, and its latest technology solutions are now helping us to deliver superior 5G services.”
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Our AirScale 5G and Fastmile fixed wireless access portfolio helps service providers across the globe to build robust and reliable networks to address the growing demand for high-speed broadband services. From our 26-year relationship with Vodacom we understand that South Africa is a highly competitive market, with end-users expecting continent-leading services and applications. We are proud to have successfully executed this important network deployment, enabling Vodacom to deliver those sought-after broadband capabilities.”
NNBP: ipNX Reiterates Potential of FTTH to Drive Nigeria’s Digital Economy
The Group Executive Director of Commercials at ipNX Nigeria, Bimpe Olaleye has called on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) stakeholders in Nigeria to pay close attention to the potential of the Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) sub-sector and use it to drive the country’s digital economy.
This much was stated during a virtual structured engagement on the new National Broadband Plan 2020-2025, organized by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
The National Broadband Plan 2020 – 2025 is designed to deliver data download speed of at least 25Mbps in urban areas, and 10Mbps in rural areas, with coverage available to at least 90% of the population and a minimum of 70% penetration rate by 2025 at a price not more than N390 per 1GB of data – all in a bid to drive the country’s digital economy.
Sharing the perspectives of the FTTH sub-sector, Mrs. Olaleye said that the importance of the Broadband Plan cannot be overemphasized, and every hand should be on deck to facilitate its realization. According to her, “The Broadband Plan is a step in the right direction, particularly when its short, mid, and long-term benefits are considered.
“According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), every 10% increase in broadband penetration in developing countries results in a commensurable increase of 2.5% in GDP per capita. This shows how critical the plan is to build a future-proof economy and engender economic growth.”
She, however, noted that the last-mile fiber (FTTX), which will deliver the actual use cases of digital transformation such as telemedicine, virtual learnings, e-entertainment, virtual realities, etc. that are imperative to closing the digital divide and bridging developmental gaps, was not given adequate focus in the plan.
“The Broadband Plan relies more on mobile networks that, though could quicken the rapid penetration rate, cannot provide the heavy bandwidth capacity required to drive high-end digital applications that will launch the country into socio-economic development and technological advancements.
“Interestingly, last-mile fiber (FTTX) could, in the immediate, enable us to tap into the wealth of experience and expertise of the advanced nations at very minimal costs, thereby conserving our scarce foreign exchange,” Olaleye said.
Commenting further on the significance of the FTTH sub-sector to the new Broadband Plan, Mrs. Olaleye stated that the sector provides quick wins towards the attainment of the set targets.
“The FTTH sub-sector is ahead in some of the targets set out in the plan, and due to its advanced status, it holds a very critical position on the journey towards an efficient and effective digital economy. Currently, FTTH operators are providing an average download speed of over 20Mbps, and a number of them like ipNX Nigeria are providing over 100 and 200Mbps, not only to large enterprises and SMEs but also to homes.
“In the same vein, FTTH encourages affordability due to its fixed nature, with pricing at sub-N100 per Gigabyte. Fiber penetration, however, remains a huge setback as it is currently below 1%. I urge all stakeholders to support the sub-sector to considerably increase penetration,” Olaleye said.
The Divisional CEO, ipNX Business, Segun Okuneye, while delivering a presentation on behalf of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sub-sector, called on government and other regulatory bodies not to see broadband infrastructure as a way to gather quick Internally Generated Revenues (IGR), rather, they should view it as a means to an end due to its potential to positively impact the country’s economy.
According to him, “As we continue to deepen broadband penetration, government needs to prioritize ease of doing business in order to motivate operators – incentives such as special waivers, rebates on taxes and duties, licensing fees, Right of Way (RoW) intervention, and other critical factors must be looked into. Additionally, access to residential communities must be completely unimpeded to fast-track the realization of the set objectives.”
Okuneye called on the state and federal governments to continue to formulate economic and regulatory policies that will propel operators to deliver on the plan.
FiamWifi Launches Community WiFi Network in Ikoyi Obalende LCDA
Fiam WiFi, Nigeria’s newest telecommunications company providing internet via hot spots to underserved communities has partnered with Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to launch a community Wireless fidelity (WiFi) network.
The community WiFi network through Hot Spots to underserved communities will provide internet access to residents who are unable to pay the exorbitant fees charged by incumbent telecom operators.
Fiam WiFi has a strategy focused on driving down cost of delivery and ensuring integration into the communities it serves by actively driving digital inclusion through partnerships with healthcare, educational providers of content as well as public sector organisations.
Speaking on the partnership, the executive chairman of Ikoyi Obalende LCDA Hon Faud Atanda-Lawal said, “We are pleased to partner with Fiam WiFi to provide a community WiFi network in Ikoyi Obalende LCDA.
“WiFi hotspots will be installed in Obalende, Ijeh Market and Dolphin High Rise. This further drives my administration’s successes in our five focus areas of the UN’s SDGs particularly Target 9c to significantly increase access to ICT and provide universal and affordable access to the internet.”
The founder & CEO of FiamWiFi, Akin Marinho said, “with millions of Nigerians priced out of the data market by incumbent operators, we are pleased to partner with Ikoyi Obalende LCDA to provide a free and paid-for service of internet to the residents of Ikoyi Obalende LCDA.
“We believe that with our pricing that is clear simple and transparent at N200 for 1GB of data without validity or expiration period, we are providing affordable access to the internet,” Marinho added.
FiamWifi and Ikoyi Obalende LCDA launch a community WiFi network in Ikoyi Obalende LCDA
Commenting on the Partnership The Executive Chairman of Ikoyi Obalende LCDA Hon Faud Atanda-Lawal “we are pleased to partner with Fiam WiFi to provide a community WiFi network in Ikoyi Obalende LCDA, WiFi hotspots will be installed in Obalende, Ijeh Market and Dolphin High Rise. This further drives my administrations successes in our 5 focus areas of the UN’s SDG particularly Target 9c to significantly increase access to ICT and provide universal and affordable access to the internet.”
Akin Marinho Founder & CEO of FiamWiFi “with millions of Nigerians priced out of the data market by incumbent operators were are pleased to partner with Ikoyi Obalende LCDA to provide a free and paid for service of internet to the residents of Ikoyi Obalende LCDA, we believe that with our pricing that
is clear simple and transparent at N200 for 1GB of data without validity or expiration period, we are providing affordable access to the internet.”
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