Huawei underlines enterprise, carrier business at AfricaCom 2018

Multinational ICT firm Huawei is using its attendance at AfricCom 2018, currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa, to remind the market that its focus is not only on smartphones. The company will officially launch its public cloud data centre in Africa at the event – and has scheduled several presentations focused on digital technology themes including Internet of Things (IOT), mobile video innovation and the development of smart cities.

Speaking to ITWeb Africa on the sidelines of the event, Edison Xie, Director of Media Relations at Huawei Southern Africa, said the company had made strides with its smartphone business and there is definitely progress with brand awareness globally and in Africa, but it has also gained ground as a carrier and its enterprise silo is the fastest growing in the Group.

In July 2018 the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker stated that in Q2, Huawei delivered shipments of 54.2 million units and secured second position with a market share of 15.8%. The big news was Huawei's move into second position, with Apple in third spot.

In the run up to AfricaCom, Huawei strategically announced plans to launch its first public cloud data centre in Africa in Johannesburg. However, details of precisely where the site will be located and when it will be operational will only be revealed at AfricaCom, the company stated.

IOT flexibility

Growth in mobility and connectivity is central to the company's digital strategy.

At the Huawei IOT Forum, the GSMA urged stakeholders to support investment and innovation in nascent industry, to support a flexible approach to IOT business model, and to build and maintain consumer trust in IOT.

Mandatory registration and 'know your customer' (KYC) rules should be reassessed and import taxes or custom duties on SIM should be reduced or done away with, the organisation stated.

Melao Mashale, GM, Enterprise Innovation at MTN Business SA, said most IOT solutions in South Africa are in pilot stage, and according to IDC 2018, 25% are in full deployment, 39% are pilot projects, 14% planning to adopt, 17% not adopting but considering.

Mobile video opportunity

According to Huawei, mobile video is the most enjoyable and effective way to communicate, and more telcos are assimilating this into their solution and services portfolio.

David Chen, VP of Huawei Southern Africa, said, "Video is becoming mainstream for people to get and use information. Video is also important for telecoms operators to develop their services."

Chen listed the launch of IPTV services and ultra HD video services, with growing interest in these services by fixed and mobile convergent service providers.

He said there are over 100 million IPTV subscribers globally and over 1.4 billion mobile video subscribers, with a 16% increase in the global average.

"In Africa we will enable the video services and fundamental services for telecoms. Huawei is a key enabler for ICT and we can enable video services for telcos and enable customers to achieve business success for videos," said Chen.

Bobby Ramsoondur, Chief Marketing Officer, Mauritius Telecom, said video has been at the heart of the company's strategy since 2006 and remains a core focus alongside priorities like accelerated fibre deployment.

He said the country faced several challenges with internet and TV, including speed (max speed for households was 2Mbps and businesses 4Mbps), time to repair (Increasing number of faults on coper network and increasing time of repair) as well as TV QoS and content.

Its action plan involved accelerated islandwide fibre rollout, fully upgraded core ISP network, upgraded international connectivity links, focused on content delivery network.

Ramsoondur said with accelerated FTTH rollout, there is now a 75% take-up rate with, 258 000 homes and businesses connected to fibre.

"For example, the impact of the upgraded core ISP network is that a Facebook or Youtube video loads twice as fast, in 2.3 seconds instead of 5.6 seconds.... Also, 96% of faults are repaired within a day."