African Telecommunication Union (ATU) and Huawei jointly released White Paper on Rural Coverage in Africa in Barcelona, Spain on the sidelines of the MWC. The white paper appeals to the stakeholders to improve African rural network coverage and gives conductive proposals. It is predicted that providing coverage for 0.4 billion uncovered population will benefit African society and ecosystem a lot.
Connectivity has the potential to positively impact and transform rural people’s lives and bring benefits in a number of areas, including health, education, financial services, transport, energy, agriculture among others. As ATU indicates, rural connectivity should be addressed as a priority by governments and stakeholders.
The white paper analyses African nations’ ICT plan and demographic and geographic features, revealing the political, social, economic and technical challenges of extending rural coverage. Proposals are also given in the whitepaper such as proactive rural coverage standard, healthy business ecosystem and encouraging private investment.
In the whitepaper, infrastructure sharing and scenario-oriented solutions are recommended to address cost challenges. Coverage enhanced tower site applies to suburban scenario; cost-efficient solution like site with 2 sectors and simplified infrastructure applies to big villages or towns along the county highways. As for far rural areas, targeted coverage solution with extremely low cost like Huawei RuralStar is recommended.
Abdoulkarim Soumaila, Secretary General of ATU said, ”All people must be able to access the Internet. ATU is privileged to be part of this gathering in view of our role to ensure development of ICTs in Africa. Stakeholders should therefore cooperate and develop smarter strategies.”
“Huawei is committed to connecting unconnected with efficient business solutions”, said Cao Ming, vice president of Huawei Wireless Product Line, “we will keep innovating specialized solutions and cooperate with other stakeholders.”
To download the "Connecting the Unconnected" white paper, please click HERE