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Huawei releases new white paper on the future of fixed-wireless access



By Staff Number

Huawei has released its 4G/5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Broadband Whitepaper, which outlines how fixed wireless can bring broadband to all.

According to Huawei, the high speeds and large capacity of 4G and 5G connectivity have made it possible to offer a Gbps broadband experience by utilising wireless networks, rather than requiring copper or fibre networks.

Thanks to advances in FWA technology, those who previously did not have access to digital services can now access connectivity up to 10Mbps. 

This is due to FWA lowering the barrier of entry to connectivity by drastically reducing costs when compared to fixed or mobile broadband.

FWA can also offer alternatives to copper-based broadband solutions, such as ADSL, by offering an average rate of 10-20Mbps at affordable prices and without the requirement of copper installations.

Those who want fibre-like connectivity, but can’t access fibre in their area, can also use fixed wireless to attain speeds of 50-100 Mbps during busy hours.

4G FWA solutions such as those mentioned above are already being used in over 120 countries and across 230 networks, servicing 100 million global households – and these numbers will continue to rise. 

 While FWA services using 4G are well established, 5G FWA is a way to full-scale 5G deployments. 5G will take FWA to the next level, enabling various modern technologies, as well as those that will inevitably be released in the future – including smart homes, 4K, and AR/VR services.

5G will also offer businesses improved connectivity, enabling them to streamline their practices and lower their expenses.

Bringing connectivity to new locations

According to a recent ITU report, 50% of the world’s population will still not have access to the Internet by the end of 2019. 

Developing nations also tend to have significantly slower connection speeds than developed countries, with broadband speeds failing to pass 10Mbps in some countries. 

However, ever-improving wireless technologies can help to improve the reach and reliability of Internet connections in these nations.

The implementation of wireless fibre in such countries brings with it a series of benefits:

  • Wireless broadband can bring coverage to over 90% of a developing country’s population – including urban and rural areas.
  • 4.5G and 5G offer a fibre-like experience, with improved speeds and reliability.
  • Wireless broadband allows for the speedy deployment of connectivity, as there is no need to dig trenches and install cables.
  • Developing wireless broadband infrastructure enables a smooth transition to 5G due to the installation of compatible network hardware.

Implication for Africa 

Fixed wireless access has emerged as one of the most significant growth drivers around the world, as explosive user growth is seen in both developed markets as well as Emerging countries like South Africa. Many believe that eventually 5G FWA will have a significant impact on fixed broadband just as 2G had on fixed voice more than 20 years ago. 

Fixed broadband subscriptions in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be 6.6 million in 2018. This market can grow by up to three-fold by 2023 according to Ovum, a London based global technology research and advisory firm.

According to Ovum’s research released in the beginning of this year, there will be strong demand and rapid market growth for home broadband in sub Saharan Africa in the coming 5 years. The number of broadband subscriptions in SSA will increase from 7.5 million in 2019 to 17 million in 2023. 

In addition, the research forecasts Africa will record the highest growth in enterprise fixed broadband subscriptions between 2018 and 2022, with a CAGR of 7.27%, compared to 5.75% and 3.31% for Central and Southern Asia and Eastern Europe, respectively.

4G/5G FWA solution can addresses the connection of millions of households and enterprises currently unconnected, as well as the upgrade of 2.5 million households from low speed DSL to high speed broadband services. Case in point, according to a financial report issued by Telkom in South Africa, its WTTx new subscriber base increased by 340 thousand in the fiscal year 2018, beating 35 thousand new fibre users.

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Local Business

Rockboom unveils new look



By Our Reporter

Hariss International Limited, the manufacturers of RIHAM products, have unveiled a new packaging for their Rockboom energy drink. This was during a ceremony held at Kabira Country Club on Thursday.

The energy drink which has been previously packaged in 320ml PET bottles, will now also be available in 250ml cans.

According to Hussein Ahmed, the Hariss International modern trade manager, they have introduced the option of cans to appeal to new markets.

“We had to transform our packaging from PET bottles to the prestigious cans inorder to tap into the modern trade with the hotels and bars,” Hussein Ahmed said. “They have been aware of the product, but have always demanded for a different packaging. So today we are giving them the option of having Rockboom in a can.”

The 250ml can, which conveniently fits in hand, will give Rockboom’s ever growing consumer base a chance to fashionably feel the positive energy.

The Rockboom cans are available countrywide and will be retailing at a recommended price of UGX 3000.

“We want to suit the different needs of our customers by giving the market what it wants and that is quality products at and affordable price.” Hussein added.

Rockboom, which came to the market in 2013, has continued to dominate the energy drinks sub-sector. It contains a blend of caffeine and energy base for providing mental and physical stimulation.

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BigEye Money

Ugandan Contractors have stepped up in terms of both quality and quantity and need to become main contractors – Guster Bukenya



By Reporter

The minister appealed to local contractors to deliver on time, quality, and quantity and meet standards as they are given advantages during public bidding.

The minister of trade and industry Amelia Kyambadde has urged local contractors to get informed about the tender opportunities.

“Local contractors should get well informed about the tender processes and where to address their grievances if they feel cheated,” Kyambadde said.

This was during a meeting held in Kampala to launch the First Uganda Contractors & Providers Summit.

The Ministry of Trade, Uganda Contractors & Providers and Beautiful Partners are organizing the first Uganda Contractors & Providers Summit under the theme:  ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda from a contractors’ perspective’.

Kyambadde said there are middlemen who are exploiting local contractors.  “Please be-ware of these middlemen. There is corruption in the tender process. They make bidding expensive, every bidding step you make they ask for money,” Kyambadde said.

The summit will take place from 12th to 13th November at Serena Hotel Kampala under the theme ‘Buy Uganda Build Uganda from a contractors’ perspective’. President Yoweri Museveni is expected to be the guest of honour as the event presents a strong boost for Uganda’s local contractors and promote local participation.

The minister appealed to local contractors to deliver on time, quality, and quantity and meet standards as they are given advantages during public bidding.

She also urged public officials to make the bidding process easy for locals. “You make a contractor run from one ministry to the next looking for a signature that is a non- tariff barrier,” Kyambadde said.

Guster Bukenya, a representative of Uganda Contractors and Providers said they seek to create a platform to develop skills that can enable local contractors be part of the procurement cycle.

Bukenya said local contractors face financial challenges and other challenges that impact on their performance. “Contractors can play an important role in creating jobs, enable social and economic development,” he said.

“We want local contractors who are often made sub-contractors to grow and become the main contractors, local contractors have stepped up in terms of both quality and quantity,” Bukenya said.

The manager public and corporate affairs at the Uganda Revenue Authority Vincent Seruma said URA supports the BUBU policy. Seruma advised local contractors to comply with the tax system which will give them great opportunities to do business.

“Contractors can miss out on tenders because of not complying with the tax system. When you get into the bidding process you can grow and get markets in the region, the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area, we need to prepare for these markets,” Seruma said.

Benson Turamye, executive director Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) disclosed that President Yoweri Museveni has issued directive requiring furniture to be procured locally.

Turamye explained that the PPD Act provides for preference and reservation schemes that give advantages to local contractors and enterprises to outcompete foreign bidders on the pricing element by small margins.

He said tenders of sh45b and below for goods are reserved for local providers. While tenders for the provision of consultancy services of sh1b and below are reserved for local consultants.

He noted that foreigner firms that win tenders are required to subcontract 30% of it to local firms. He said the goal to support local contractors and providers was intended to promote wealth creation, technology and skills transfer.

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Local Business

Uganda TEF entrepreneurs seek government support in promoting youth empowerment



By Our Reporter

The Uganda Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurs led by United Bank for Africa management team on Tuesday met with the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, to discuss a possible partnership with the government of Uganda in a bid to promote youth empowerment through entrepreneurship.

The TEF beneficiaries in Uganda who recently formed a SACCO to enable access to funding to grow their businesses met with the Prime Minister to present their need for government support to promote a generation of job creators in the youth.

The government through the Office of the Prime Minister thereafter pledged to offer all possible support to the TEF beneficiaries in Uganda through financial engagements, to grow their start-up businesses beyond the boundaries of the country.

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Johnson Agoreyo – CEO and Managing Director of UBA Uganda said that the bank will continue to support the TEF fund beneficiaries through trainings directly focused on needs of entrepreneurs in Uganda.

“UBA will continue to offer support to the Tony Elumelu Foundation entrepreneurs.”said Mr. Johnson Agoreyo.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the Tony Elumelu Foundation and UBA for the support offered to the Ugandan entrepreneurs. He thanked the entrepreneurs for being organised and forming a Sacco. He also informed the young entrepreneurs that the government already has institutions in place to resolve some of their problems – such as the Microfinance Center, but further pledged the government’s additional support on all challenges raised.

Present at the meeting were the UBA MD, Mr. Johnson Agoreyo and staff of UBA Uganda, the Prime Minister of Uganda – Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister and select number of beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Uganda.

The TEF beneficiaries in Uganda have grown to 600, coming second after Nigeria. The entrepreneurs are selected from 54 African countries, after submitting an online application and are presented with seed capital, access to mentors and a 12-week business training programme on enrolment.

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