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

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By Staff Number

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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

Over 19,000 customers rewarded as the Shell 10 Weeks of Cheer campaign comes to an end

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Winners from the Shell 10 weeks of cheer campaign pose for a group photo with Vivo Energy Officials.

Winners from the Shell 10 weeks of cheer campaign pose for a group photo with Vivo Energy Officials.

By Our Reporter

A total of 19,365 customers have been rewarded with prizes worth UGX 500M in the just concluded Shell 10 weeks of cheer campaign, a national promotion by Vivo Energy Uganda, the company that distributes and markets Shell branded fuels and lubricants in Uganda.

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The campaign was announced in December to reward customers during the festive season and infuse extra cheer throughout the holidays and the beginning of the year.

It had a presence across a total of 105 Shell stations countrywide to ensure convenience for customers across the country.

Traversing all regions of Uganda and reaching a total of 24 towns to spread cheer, the campaign held exciting engagements reaching 60,000 customers, 9,000 of whom could not hold back their joy at going home with branded merchandise, fuel vouchers and home grocery packs.

Speaking at a final prize redemption at Shell Bugolobi, Mark Mutungi, the Fuels Brand Manager at Vivo Energy Uganda thanked customers for participating in the campaign.

“Since December, we have celebrated our customers and gifted them for doing business with us. This campaign was for all our customers including boda riders, taxi drivers, private motorists and truck drivers that use Shell fuels, lubricants or shop services.”

Since December, customers who spent UGX50,000 at a participating Shell station were handed draw coupons requiring them to enter the competition by sending a unique code and their license registration number to 8008 by SMS.

“I have consistently been a Shell customer for 10 years and counting. I am glad that my loyalty to Shell has yielded rewards for me. I was happy to be among the lucky winners of the recently concluded promotion,” Umar Mustafa Badola one of the winners said.

In addition to the instant rewards, 10 weekly draws were also held across the country that saw customers win jackpot prizes of fuel worth UGX500,000 and UGX50,000 for motorists and riders respectively.

“I could not believe my luck when I was given fuel worth 500,000 after spending only 50k! I have been smiling all the way to the pump, without needing to worry about budgeting for fuel,” said Veronica Ndagire one of the jackpot winners.

“We would like to thank all our customers who continue to choose Shell. Our customers are at the heart of our business and we look forward to even more opportunities to interact and engage with them as we make life’s journeys better,” Mutungi concluded.


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Local Business

Coca-Cola enabling women start retail businesses

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Flavia Nabaasa (R) hands over of a cooler to one of the beneficiaries during a ceremony held at UMA show grounds on Thursday.

By Our Reporter

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Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda has handed over coolers to women to enable them start businesses in the retail category. This is part of a bigger Coca-Cola initiative called 5 by 20.

5 by 20 is the Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 Million Women entrepreneurs across the Company’s value chain by the year 2020.

According to Flavia Nabaasa, the Business Development & Commercialization Director CCBA in Uganda, the company is well on track to delivering on their global commitment.

“We had a target of empowering 35,000 women in Uganda by the year 2020,” Flavia Nabaasa told media during the cooler handover ceremony held at UMA show grounds on Thursday. “We have so far empowered 33,000 women and are certain to deliver on our global commitment by the end of the year.”

In Uganda, women usually face several challenges when doing business such as lack of basic business skills, lack of financial services / assets and lack of access to peer to peer networks and mentorship among others.

Through the 5 by 20 initiative, women are also offered access to business skills training and connections with peers and company sales executives who are always at hand to offer continuous monitoring of the business which helps in offering the much-needed foundation for building a successful business.

“We believe there is no better investment than women to spur economic growth and foster sustainable development. Women reinvest 90% of their income in their family and community, so by supporting women, we are building sustainable communities through this ripple effect.” Flavia Nabaasa added.

The event was also graced by madam Joyce Kizza, one of the successful Coca-cola distributors  who lauded the women for embracing business and encouraged them to continue working hard. She also tipped them on how to run a successful business saying they should always treat their employees as well a customers with respect and always be honest in their dealings.

Meanwhile, the company has this year so far received 1851 coolers which are being issued to customers across the country with women in the retail category being the beneficiaries of this process. The women are also given startup stock to go along with the coolers.


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Local Business

MTN Uganda partners with Baobab Circle to enable customers easily manage their health

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By Our Reporter

In another effort to enhance value for its customers, MTN Uganda has unveiled a mobile solution that enables customers to manage their health in order to reduce the risk of complications like stroke, blindness, kidney disease among others.

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MTN Uganda partnered with Baobab Circle Limited, a London based health technology company to provide a health application named “Afya Pap” to its customers. Through the Afya Pap mobile App, MTN customers will have access to remote monitoring of their vitals, health, diet and exercise information that helps reduce or delay development of health complications. The App is powered by artificial intelligence for personalized diabetes, hypertension, vitals tracking, meal planning and physical exercise planning.

Customers can download the Afya Pap mobile App from the Google Play store and register to use it. All new users of the App will be given a 14-day FREE trial inclusive of data. Upon expiry of the FREE trial, customers can then buy subscription using MTN MoMo within the Afya Pap App. The available subscription plan is 30 days at ONLY UGX 4,000, inclusive of the data for using the App.

MTN Uganda Chief Marketing officer Somdev Sen said MTN believes in meaningful partnership as a way of making the world a brighter place for her customers and all Ugandans.

“We are all good together. They developed the app and we have the means to make it convenient and affordable for the users. As the mobile device continues to become a central part of our customer’s lifestyle, we intend to create more services for them to use on the phone so they can get more value out of it. With this app, we hope to further brighten the lives of our customers,” Somdev said.

Baobab Circle Limited, a renowned London based health Technology Company with operations in Sub- Saharan markets, the Middle East and spreading its wings in East Africa, specializes in digital mobile intervention programs for remote patient monitoring and applied health signals in the management of chronic conditions.

Spencer Matonhodze, Chief Commercial Officer of Baobab Circle said the mobile application is seamlessly integrated with smart glucometers and blood pressure monitors, allowing users to conveniently test their sugar and BP levels using their mobile phones and store the data, which can automatically be shared with their care partners who could be either a family member and or a personal doctor through a caregiver module. The application also allows 24/7 accessibility to a medical practitioner, nutritionists and sports therapist.

The Afya Pap application was first launched in August of 2015 and is now available in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Egypt among other countries.

The application has won several awards including the Sanofi Diabetes Innovation Challenge (2019), AMREF health innovation challenge (2018) and Nominated for the GLOMO health innovation award at World Mobile Congress (2019) among others.


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Local Business

SafeBoda to offer free medical services to riders in week-long health camp

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By Our Reporter

SafeBoda has announced a health camp in which they will offer free medical services including diagnosis and treatment to all its riders.

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The health camp dubbed ‘Obulamu bwo bwe bugagga bwo’ will be hosted at the SafeBoda Academy in Kyebando and is expected to benefit at least 15,000 SafeBoda riders and their families, as well as ordinary residents of Kyebando and neighboring areas.

Speaking during the launch ceremony, Shakib Nsubuga, the Innovations Manager at SafeBoda said, “Our SafeBodas spend at least 90% of their time working, and hardly invest time in health-related issues, We believe that this camp will help close the access gap to these crucial medical services and create more positive health outcomes for our drivers and our community at large.”

In her speech, the Honorable Minister for Kampala, Hon. Benna Namugwanya applauded SafeBoda for their continued commitment to improve not only safety in Kampala but also to improve the livelihood and wellbeing of SafeBoda drivers. She stated that the ministry’s doors are open to all and pledged support and collaboration towards the improvement of livelihoods of the people in Kampala.

The week-long event which kicked off on Tuesday will run until Saturday.


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