Huawei has urged delegates to the World Economic Forum, held in Abuja, Nigeria recently, to increase investment in 4G networks to drive GDP growth and job creation across Africa.
Charles Ding, Huawei global Vice President, addressed the WEF as part of a panel discussion, and highlighted the need to bring more connectivity to Africa through the roll out of fourth generation mobile broadband.
Ding said that more connectivity would drive economic growth, and highlighted the advantages of building LTE networks in Africa.
"First, fixed-line infrastructure in most African countries is limited and underdeveloped. According to ITU, fixed broadband penetration in Africa is only 0.3%.
"Therefore, upgrading from existing fixed-line infrastructure will be more costly and less effective. Second, building mobile networks can significantly enlarge broadband coverage to people living in rural and underprivileged urban areas, because LTE users are always connected wirelessly to fast, responsible, and reliable data network.
"Third, constructing LTE networks can make effective use of existing equipment and technologies, and therefore lower the cost of initial investment. Finally, LTE-enabled devices become increasingly more affordable,” Ding said.
Ding also highlighted some of the work it has done with its partners to roll out several LTE networks in Africa.
"For example, Nigerian carriers Swift Networks and Spectranet worked with us to provide a smooth migration from their existing WiMAX based networks to LTE in Nigerian capital, Lagos. In the case of Swift, we helped them upgrade to the new TD-LTE network in 2013, which doubled the throughput of old WiMAX network,” Ding said.