Technology (227)

Huawei Sets Up ICT Academy At Makerere University

Huawei Tuesday commissioned an ICT Academy at Makerere University with a promise to further their support ICT development in the country. Their gestured was well received by Uganda’s ICT and National Guidance minister, Honourable Frank Tumwebaze.

The minister speaking at the launch of the academy lauded Huawei for its consistency in skilling and nurturing ICT talent. “This is just one example of how ICT is transforming the lives of everyday citizens, and driving the economy,” the minister said.

“ICT has truly transformed our economy, creating jobs for people even in remote places. But this technological trend would never be possible if we did not skill students, professionals and entrepreneurs as a nation.

“That is why efforts such as the ICT Academy, Seeds for the Future and the Huawei ICT competitions are so important; so that Uganda whose economic fortune is also in digital transformation can continue to grow and leverage on ICT and the skills of its great people,” he said.

Mr. Liujiawei, the Managing Director of Huawei said the students will leave for China on 17th May and return on 2nd June, and they will undergo training in the latest technological trends such as 5G among others.

The same ceremony saw 10 Seeds for the Future fellows flagged off for a two-week intense technological training from various Chinese universities.

Seeds for the Future is a Huawei Corporate Social Responsibility program that seeks to establish collaboration with local governments, higher education institutes and other organisations to select top university students and young government officials to study and gain work experience at Huawei’s headquarters in China.

Minister Tumwebaze cited that the efforts of this program since its inception in Uganda in 2016 has started to gain fruit because of the seemingly relatively high rates of employment by its participants.

Huawei To Start Phase Four Internet Connectivity Project Launched By Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni has launched phase four of the internet connectivity project for West Nile and Karamoja. The ceremony took place at St Charles Lwanga Secondary School grounds in Koboko district.

The National Information Technology, Uganda (NITA-U), with funding from the World Bank, contracted Huawei technology to build this phase of the national backbone infrastructure and e-government infrastructure project (NBI/EGI) to connect districts and towns across the country. This is the continuity of Phases 1-3 which were funded by China's EXIM Bank between 2007 and 2016.

With the start of Phase Four, the districts of Pakwach, Nebbi, Arua, Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Katakwi and the border points of Oraba, Vurra and Mpondwe will improve access, reliability and competiveness of broadband services both domestically and regionally.

It will also provide the new international connections to neighboring countries including South Sudan and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as helping position Uganda as a regional communication hub and bring public services closer to people, with 100 government offices in the areas of West Nile and Karamoja to be connected. After this phase, Phase V will make Uganda fully connected to fast and cheaper internet.

President Museveni, who was received by jubilating and cheering massive crowds and NRM supporters, said it was important for West Nile to have underground Internet cables because the facility would make work faster, efficient and easier.

“These computers that work like human brains need to be connected by underground cables. We already did this in Kampala. We need to have the same done for West Nile. This is very important because it will help auditors and accountants get international jobs without moving to other countries,” he said.

The President also observed that connecting underground cables would make learning in schools easier and lessen the burden of parents buying books for their children since they would just connect and search from the computer.

The President also noted that while the government was playing its role of development in West Nile Region, it was incumbent on the people to create wealth for themselves in their homesteads, a role that would in turn lead to creating jobs for others.

He reiterated that creating jobs in Public Service cannot cater for all the people in Uganda and hence the necessity of starting projects that create wealth for them and help others to get employment.

“The total number of government jobs is 490,000 yet the population of Uganda is 41 million people. It means the government jobs can only cater for 2.8 million,” he said.

The minister of ICT & National Guidance Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, thanked the World Bank and Huawei Company for connecting West Nile and Karamoja. He noted that the project had not only brought about connectivity but also employment opportunities.

NitaU's spokesman Steven Kirenga says phase four is connecting another 1100 new government locations by the end of the next financial year. "We already have 414 government connections on the internet, including local governments and other government offices.

Mr Kirenga said the contractor Huawei are a global contractor with extensive experience and expertise in such work.

He said phase four which ends in 20 months’ time, will be done professionally and competently.

He said that it will also enhance and make URA and immigration work at border points of Mpondwe and Vvura faster and more efficient.    

Online Marketplaces, As A Catalyst For Job Creation In Africa

According to the World Bank, unemployed youths in Africa account for about 60% of the continent’s unemployed workforce.

With a growing population of 1.3 billion people whose average age is 20 years and a snowballing middle class expected to reach 1.1 billion out of the 2.5 billion Africans by 2050, there’s no doubt about the importance to create more jobs on the continent.

 A new report released recently by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), dubbed “How Online Marketplaces Can Power Employment in Africa”, shows that online digital platforms, such as Jumia, which match buyers and providers of goods and services, could create about three million new jobs in Africa by 2025.

These online marketplaces could also boost inclusive economic growth with minimal disruption to existing businesses and workforce norms, according to the report.

“We are not only a tech company but an ecommerce company and we are committed to developing our teams with pure ec=ommerce skills - Commercial, content development, last mile logistics, Operations, Customer Service and many of our Jumia alumni have gone on to start their own successful businesses or lead some of the top tech companies,” said Ron Kawamara, CEO Jumia Uganda.

Jumia’s impact on job creation already includes 5,000 direct jobs across the 14 African countries it operates in, and indirect job creations with sellers, logistic partners, commercial agents, and marketing partners.

The study highlights the example of two Jumia sellers in Nairobi, Kenya, who have been able to create new jobs and increase their sales and revenues significantly.

 In addition to job creation, online marketplaces contribute to skills development programs and are encouraging entrepreneurship. “We have observed that many Jumia alumni have started their own startup companies.

We very much believe that we can all benefit from a strong ecosystem of startups in every country and we are proud to bring our contribution to the development of this ecosystem through our training,” noted Juliet Anammah, CEO Jumia Nigeria.

 Of the 420 million Africans aged 15 through 35 years, one-third were unemployed as of 2015 according to estimates by the African Development Bank. Around 58% of the total job gains generated by online marketplaces will be created in the consumer goods sector, while the mobility services will generate 18% and the travel and hospitality sector 9%, the report states.

 The study finally highlights other positive economic impacts of online marketplaces in Africa, who are improving consumers’ purchasing power through increased income, increasing the demand for goods and services in locations currently beyond the reach of conventional retail networks, as well as bringing more women and youth - who in some countries have been excluded from the labor market - into the formal workforce.

 A copy of the report can be downloaded here


Huawei 5G Equipment And Ecosystem Outperforms Rivals

Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia have emerged as the top 3 global 5G RAN vendors according to a report by Strategy Analytics, a global technology and media analyst agency.

Huawei is ranked as the leader in terms of equipment performance, portfolio of radio access network products, contribution to industry standards, R&D investment, and delivery capabilities.

According to this report titled "Comparison and 2023 5G Global Market Potential for leading 5G RAN Vendors – Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia", the three global vendors are leading in commercializing 5G, and compared with other vendors, Huawei’s 5G network is faster and lower latency.

The report quoted results of series of tests that were concluded in January saying that in the non-standalone (NSA) scenario, the peak downlink rate of a single user on Huawei's 5G network reaches 1.86 Gbit/s.

The figure is 1.38 Gbit/s for Ericsson and 1.15 Gbit/s for Nokia.

In the air interface latency test, the test results of Ericsson and Nokia are 3.5 ms and 3.8 ms respectively, but Huawei's user plane delay is only 2 ms. In the standalone (SA) scenario, Huawei's peak downlink rate of a single cell reaches 14.58 Gbit/s, which is nearly three times that of Ericsson. Nokia has not completed the test until today.

In announcing its Q1 results last week, Huawei said that they have "signed 40 commercial contracts for 5G with leading global carriers and had shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations to markets around the world. The results show that the company’s Q1 sales rose 39 percent from a year earlier to $26.7 billion, and its net profit margin was about 8 percent, slightly higher than last year.

In terms of Standards Contribution and Patents, the report indicates all three leading vendors are active players in 3GPP 5G standardization, According to IPlytics GmbH, Huawei is the No.1 in terms of the number of 5G Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), the number of 5G standards contributions and the number of employees attending 5G standard meetings. Ericsson and Nokia are also in the leading companies in these aspects.

The report shows companies who actively contribute to 3GPP standards activities can often get a ‘first mover’ advantage on their product roadmap.

This conclusion has been echoed by the three vendors’ performance in the market.

According to a research report released by Dell'Oro Group, a US market research company, in February, Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia were the top three vendors in the fourth quarter of 2018 and in the whole year. In markets outside North America, Huawei's revenue market share in 2018 (about 40%) was almost equal to the sum of Ericsson and Nokia. Ericsson was the second largest vendor in 2018. The growth rate of its business in North America and Europe was over 10%.

Last week leading Dutch telecom provider KPN signed a preliminary agreement with Huawei to start preparations for the construction of KPN’s new Mobile Radio Access Network in the Netherlands, as part of KPN’s mobile network modernization for 5G.

It was reported Britain has agreed to allow Huawei limited access to “non-core” parts of the country’s 5G infrastructure. These came when US is trying pressuring its allies to stop using Huawei equipment.

Many countries, organizations and global carriers have express concerns over politicalizing the cyber security issue. In the beginning of this year Deutsche Telekom said Europe’s 5G rollout could be delayed by at least two years if governments on the continent implement a ban on Huawei.

This was followed by warning from mobile industry body GSMA that actions which disrupt the network equipment supply “will increase costs to European operators, businesses and citizens; delay 5G deployment by years across Europe; and potentially also jeopardize the functioning of existing 4G networks upon which 5G is intended to be built”.

According to GSMA, By 2025, mobile operators are expected to invest between €300 billion and €500 billion on the roll out of 5G across Europe.

Strategy Analytics’ reports shows that all three leading ICT infrastructure vendors are ranked among the world’s top 50 companies for R&D investment according to The 2018 EU R&D Investment Scoreboard, with Huawei ranks 5 followed by Nokia(27) and Ericsson(45).

The report says it can be seen that despite significant pressure on all infrastructure vendors, Huawei has maintained steady growth in its R&D investment, while Ericsson and Nokia’s R&D investment have experienced significant recent turbulence. It cautions that large swings in R&D spending can have serious adverse impacts on long term programs like 5G technology research and product development.

Fixed Broadband Growth In Sub Saharan Africa Creates Opportunities For Telecos And

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

This brings increased opportunities for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to fill the connectivity void and to benefit commercially by driving up data usage and growing revenues on their networks with Fixed-Wireless Access (also known as fixed-wireless broadband or WTTx).

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 like Japan, Germany and Italy as well as Emerging countries like South Africa, Philippines and Mexico.

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. 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.

The Ovum report, titled Fixed-Wireless Access Drives Broadband Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, finds that Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers.

However, strong demand for broadband connectivity in SSA is not being adequately addressed by wireline technologies such as XDSL and fiber.

In addition to providing internet connectivity for remote and rural populations, FWA can do much to support the growth of digital media, provide the wider population with access to government services and meet the demands of businesses for high-quality broadband services.

Julian Bright, a senior analyst at OVUM and the author of the report says Sub-Saharan Africa's legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers.

“Coupled with the speed of growth and the clear appetite for new digital-media and internet-based services among consumers, among businesses and the public sector, this calls for broadband solutions that are cost-effective and can be quickly deployed.

Where the economics are favorable, FWA provides an effective complement to or even substitute for, fixed wireline connectivity. Further opportunities for FWA will continue to open up as operators and service providers in the region realize the benefits of LTE-based FWA.”

FWA advantages

Fixed-wireless access can provide a low-cost, shorter time-to-market, practical and high-performance alternative. Deployment of FWA is less complex and less costly than wireline and subscribers can be brought onto the network more quickly than with fiber, which can lead to a fast return on investment for ISPs.

FWA meets many of the criteria for affordable broadband connectivity, particularly when compared to less economic options such as fiber and copper. It provides ISPs with incentives to invest in covering sparsely populated or remote areas as well as suburban environments, by lowering the cost and shortening the payback period. 

According to industry intelligence, more than 40 carriers in SSA have launched FWA service in partnership with suppliers like Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. The number of subscribers of FWA service in SSA has reached 3.5 million. 

In South Africa, Telkom has been working with Huawei since 2015 and has seen rapid business growth driven by WTTx. Telkom’s interim results for the six months ended September 30, 2018 , shows a dramatic increase in mobile broadband subscribers (66.8%), traffic (120%), and Average Revenue Per User (12.8%).

Its fixed-wireless access and Wi-Fi continues to perform well, with a 22.1% growth to over 962,000 subscribers. The report attributes the increase to the “Deal of the month”, improved quality and the footprint expansion of its LTE network. 

“WTTx gives carriers fast access to home broadband markets, allows them to quickly build up their coverage and enable them to offer triple play services,” says David Chen, Vice President Huawei Southern Africa.

 “We are excited by the findings of this report as it gives credence to what we see as a quick win for operators in SSA,” Chen adds.

 Price Flexibility is Key

Home broadband networks, whether fiber, DSL, or FWA are subject to the same limiting factors; population density, subscriber take rates, Average Revenue Per User, CPE device cost and availability, network contention or oversubscription rate and labor costs. 

The Ovum report emphasizes that key for operators to make FWA services more accessible and affordable for users are, the application of flexible tariff choices and manageable CPE costs.

A high-end terminal leads to an increase in user acquisition costs, despite the fact that it increases the FWA capacity and reduces the cost per line. Low-cost, low-end terminals are more suitable to bring down the cost for consumers for the popularity of FWA services. 

In addition, an operator offering lower-priced FWA packages with more affordable CPE is also targeting mobile customers who currently use their 4G service to provide a home broadband connection. 

Speaking to Huawei’s WTTx offerings, Bright says, “Huawei has built its WTTx fixed wireless access business into a key component of its wireless broadband portfolio. Huawei's FWA strategy also differs from that of its competitors in that it places WTTx as part of its mobile products line rather than part of its fixed broadband offering.” 

Huawei’s WTTx solution has been recognized by the International Telecommunications Union as an innovative technical solution that improves global ICT indexes and speeds up the development of broadband connections.

Jumia Listed On The New York Stock Exchange

Jumia Technologies AG, the leading pan-African e-commerce platform, has officially announced its listing on the New York Stock Exchange. This listing is the result of a team success, and all the Jumia employees across Africa rang the “bell” at the same time in each country and in New York, this listing being the result of a team success.

 Founded in 2012, Jumia started a mission to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa, by leveraging technology to deliver innovative, convenient and affordable online services to consumers. Jumia further empowers businesses to grow, by using its platform to reach and serve consumers across the continent.

Jumia is currently active in 14 African countries with more than 81,000 active sellers transacting online with millions of consumers. The e-commerce platform directly employs more than 5,000 team members in Africa.

 “This achievement has been made possible thanks to the hard work of our teams, the trust of our consumers, as well as the commitment of our sellers and partners. All stakeholders deserve credit for this milestone, and we are just at the beginning of a long and great journey.

We are going to continue to focus on our mission and to work even harder to help consumers, sellers, partners and all stakeholders benefit from this technological revolution.” said Sacha Poignonnec and Jeremy Hodara, co-founders and co-chief executives.

Huawei Wins Two MTN Group Awards In Dubai

Huawei, the leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, shone bright, winning two awards at MTN Group hosted its Annual Supplier Award Ceremony in Dubai late last month.

The company was announced as the winner of the Supplier of the Year 2018 and Best Innovation 2018 Awards.

The Supplier of the Year Award recognises the best overall performance from a group supplier across several performance metrics such as quality, delivery and support, account performance management, innovation and meeting MTN compliance and risk requirements.

While the Best Innovation Award focuses on suppliers who demonstrate and share best practice, market insights and generate the most innovative ideas and solutions.

The theme for the awards this year was centered around three key pillars: Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence. All areas where MTN has worked extensively with Huawei to ensure MTN continuously stays at the forefront of the telecoms industry, and consistently delivers the most innovative products and services to its customers.

“As a supplier with leading products and solutions and with a team of dedicated professionals, Huawei has been a part of our success for a very long time and we recognise their partnership with confidence towards a bright future,” said Mr. Dirk Karl, MTN Group Executive: Global Sourcing and Supply Chain, as he presented the awards to Huawei.

“Hand in hand, both MTN and Huawei teams have been working together and conquered numerous difficulties in the past. We look forward to continuing our collaboration and overcoming any new challenges we may face in the future,” The President of Huawei MTN Key Account Group Mr. Frank Li said.


Jumia Mobile week Kicks Off

Jumia Africa’s leading online shop has today started the much anticipated Jumia Mobile Week . With discounts up to 60% OFF on Tecno, Iphone, Samsung, Infinix, Nokia, Huawei, HTC, Redmi and many more, this is easily the biggest mobile campaign Uganda has ever had.

 Some of the most anticipated deals that no one should miss out on include  the Iphone 7 discounted from 2,400,000 to 1,599,000 Ugx, Nokia 6.1 from 1,070,000 to 567,000 Ugx, Infinix Zero 6 Pro X620 from 1,560,000 to 1,099,000 Ugx, Samsung Galaxy J6 from 920,000 to 580,000 Ugx, Tecno Camon 11 Pro from 900,000 to 763,000 Ugx, power bank from 80,000 to 50,000 Ugx  and the cheapest smartphone in Uganda at 115,000 Ugx.  

 Mr. Ron Kawamara, CEO Jumia Uganda, said that the campaign is of major importance to jumia because being an online company we have taken on the mantle of pushing mobile penetration in Uganda. E-commerce is not for the future but for now and affordability of smartphones is one of the two main factors to improve the digital industry in Uganda with affordability of Internet being the second.   

 He also added that the exciting flash sales and treasure hunts are back and bigger, with items like the Iphone XR at 2,299,000 Ugx from 3,000,000 Ugx already sold out during the midnight Flash sale and many more like the huawei mate-8 from 1,700,000 to 1,000,000 Ugx yet to come at different intervals of the mobile week campaign which runs from 8th until the 21st of April plus the Iphone 7 at only 1,000 Ugx and many more as a treasure hunts highly anticipated to come. Ugandans can now enjoy the biggest smartphone sale ever had in the country.

 Mr Kawamara noted that if you place an order for an item marked Jumia express before 3 PM, it will be delivered on the same day or within 24 hours and also with the Jumia partnership with Liberty insurance customers can now enjoy the most affordable insurance on all the mobile items they purchase off Jumia, with Insurance starting at only 5,000 Ugx depending on the mobile item ordered and covering aspects such as theft and damage customers are going to enjoy value for money as this is added to the 7 day return policy guarantee from Jumia plus warranty of the different items.

Visitors to the site , free Jumia app and to the Jumia mobile app will have an opportunity to claim the biggest discounts on thousands of Mobile related items.

Jumia Uganda Launches 2019 Mobile Week

For the next two weeks, Ugandans will have a chance to express themselves on Africa’s biggest online shop, Jumia, through their sales and purchases during the Jumia Mobile Week which was Tuesday launched at Urban By City Blue hotel in Kampala.

Jumia Uganda also launched the 2019 Mobile Report that breaks down internet usage in Uganda.  Ron Kawamara, CEO Jumia Uganda, Paul Tesar, Jumia Marketing Manager and Jumia Chief Commercial Officer Manon Salamon made presentation at the press conference to make the announcements.

During the Jumia Week which will be trending under the hashtag # #JumiaMobileWeek2019 and #SavingaNeJumiaMW Kawamara said: ““This year we’ll be offering our buyers not just low prices but free warranty, express delivery and insurance for their phones”

umia CCO Manon Salamon promised that for this year’s Mobile Week 'we’ll be offering our buyers the best priced smartphones & mobile accessories they can find in Uganda,’

Paul Tesar, Jumia Marketing Manager said: “Mobile penetration has had an increase in the last few years with an approximate of 25 million Ugandans owning a mobile phone & 42% of the population are connected to the internet,”

And for the first time in Uganda, online buyers will be able to buy and pay for insurance using Jumia. Jumia said they are working with Liberty Assurance to make sure this happens. 

Huawei Releases Sees Bullish Growth In Face Of Adversity

Huawei released its 2018 Annual Report today. According to the report, the company maintained strong business growth in 2018. Its sales revenue rounded off at CNY721.2 billion, up 19.5% year-on-year; its net profit reached CNY59.3 billion, up 25.1% year-on-year.

In 2018, Huawei invested CNY101.5 billion (14.1% of its sales revenue) in R&D, ranking fifth globally in The 2018 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. Over the last ten years, Huawei's R&D expenditure has reached more than CNY480 billion. According to official data released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Huawei filed 5,405 patent applications to this organization in 2018, ranking first among all companies globally.

At the release of its annual report, Guo Ping, Huawei's Rotating Chairman, said, "Information communications technology is rapidly working its way into every industry. This has triggered a digital, intelligent transformation – the driving force behind our digital economy. Through heavy, consistent investment in 5G innovation, alongside large-scale commercial deployment, Huawei is committed to building the world's best network connections. Throughout this process, Huawei will continue to strictly comply with all relevant standards to build secure, trustworthy, and high-quality products. As we work towards this goal, we have been explicitly clear: Cyber security and user privacy protection are at the absolute top of our agenda. We are confident that the companies that choose to work with Huawei will be the most competitive in the 5G era. And countries that choose to work with Huawei will gain an advantage for the next wave of growth in the digital economy."

Guo emphasized, "The easiest way to bring down a fortress is to attack it from within. And the easiest way to reinforce it is from outside. Moving forward, we will do everything we can to shake off outside distractions, improve management, and make progress towards our strategic goals. We will continue to strengthen operational compliance, ensure business continuity and sustainability, and cultivate an open ecosystem where all players collaborate and prosper together. In addition, we will continue our organizational transformation to inspire greater passion and vitality across the organization."

In its carrier business, Huawei launched its latest 5G and SoftCOM AI solutions, focusing on making them as simple as possible to use and maintain. 2018 also saw ongoing innovation in domains like premium home broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT), helping carriers seize new growth opportunities. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's carrier business reached CNY294 billion, roughly the same as the year prior.

In its enterprise business, Huawei continued providing cloud, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT solutions, as well as a range of products for data centers, all-flash storage, and WiFi. By integrating these technologies into its digital platform, Huawei has facilitated the construction of smart cities, safe cities, and smart campuses, and has helped drive the digital transformation of its customers in the finance, transportation, and energy sectors. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's enterprise business reached CNY74.4 billion, up 23.8% year-on-year.

In its cloud business, Huawei launched 160 cloud services and 140 solutions, and worked with its partners to serve customers worldwide with 40 availability zones across 23 regions. Huawei has grown its list of partners to more than 6,000 in this domain, and is actively exploring the use of its AI services in more than 200 projects across 10 major industries.

In its consumer business, Huawei further increased its share of the global smartphone market and has further enhanced the positioning of its high-end devices. It has also made major breakthroughs in building an intelligent ecosystem for all user scenarios. In 2018, the sales revenue of Huawei's consumer business reached CNY348.9 billion, up 45.1% year-on-year.

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