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Huawei’s RuralStar Solution Wins GSMA ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets’ Award

Feb 28, 2018

Bridging the Digital Divide and Connecting the Unconnected

[Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018] Huawei’s RuralStar solution has won GSMA’s "Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets" award.

The judges said, “Low power with a choice of sources, low TCO, easy to install with minimal site preparation, new battery technology and security features, this ticks all the emerging markets benefits boxes.”

Huawei won GSMA’s "Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets" award.

According to GSMA, 1.5 billion people around the world cannot access the Internet, and 700 million people are not yet connected. The "Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets" award aims at driving the industry to connect the unconnected and commending related innovations. Huawei RuralStar solution won the award due to its role in promoting rural network construction and impressive innovation.

Huawei launched RuralStar as part of its continuous focus on the development requirements for emerging markets. The solution has been successfully deployed by 12 operators in eight counties, including: Thailand, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico. Thanks to RuralStar, millions of unconnected people can now access mobile networks for the first time and enjoy the convenience of using mobile Internet services.

In Ghana, local villagers used to climb to rooftops and trees, or even ride a dozen kilometers to find telephone signals. RuralStar has addressed these issues. They can now use WhatsApp to communicate and share pictures at home. Transferring money and recharging call fees through Mobile Money have also become common in daily life.

RuralStar deployed on a wood pole in Ghana

Generally, rural network construction faces a range of challenges such as difficulty in obtaining transmission resources, high civil construction costs, lack of stable power supply, and long deployment period. RuralStar enables three transformations, transforming microwave or satellite transmission in traditional solutions to Relay, substituting simple poles for towers, and enabling a move from diesel generators for power supply to solar power. This shortens the return on investment (ROI) period for mobile communications in remote rural areas. Operators can then lower the threshold of profitability by 50%, which is a great help for emerging markets to bridge the digital divide.

Huawei has been working to connect the unconnected and will continue to work with the industry to promote popularization of mobile broadband in emerging markets through healthy business models, so that more unconnected people can enjoy the convenience of wireless communication.

MWC 2018 runs from February 26 to March 1 in Barcelona, Spain. Huawei is showcasing its products and solutions at booth 1J50 in Fira Gran Via Hall 1, booth 3I30 in Hall 3, and the Innovation City zone in Hall 4. For more information, please visit