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Huawei & African Operators are Targeting Rural Cellular Coverage to find Additional Growth

March 3, 2018, 11:53 p.m.
Jake Saunders, Vice President, Asia-Pacific & Advisory Services

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At MWC 2018, the African Telecommunications Union emphasized mobile telcos need to redouble efforts to provide communications services to the remaining 2 billion unconnected peoples. This is not just about providing mobile voice and messaging but also e-health, e-governance, e-education and mobile money.

Huawei is very much targeting the rural cellular coverage needs of mobile telcos. At MWC Barcelona 2018, the vendor demonstrated the latest version of its RuralStar cell site solution. Traditional base-station deployment costs of US$ 50,000 to US$ 100,000 are not viable for rural emerging markets. RuralStar can operate solely on solar power and batteries. Also used in-band cellular for backhaul.