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Huawei, Project Isizwe and FNB Win Big at Africacom 2015

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AfricaCom, in partnership with the some of the world’s most prestigious ICT players, has once again hosted a spectacular technology event. Besides offering a platform for leading technology innovators to showcase their solutions to the masses; AfricaCom also takes a moment to give recognition to top solutions providers.

Amongst the top achievers in the 2015 AfricaCom Awards was Huawei, Project Isizwe and First National Bank; each taking home two awards.

 

Huawei

Huawei bags Best Network Improvement & Breakthrough LTE Development Award

 

The Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company won the Best Network Improvement award for its LampSite Solution in Kenya. It further won the Breakthrough LTE Development award for its eLTE Solution in Kenya.

Africa is currently one of the leading regions in terms of mobile growth, but access to superior network performance is still an area of concern. The Huawei LampSite Solution seeks to play a significant role in the improvement of broadband access and performance, particularly for indoor coverage. The solution is currently extended to Kenyan Safaricom customers to enhance their indoor broadband experience. For its deployment in Kenya, the LampSite project aims to improve the indoor coverage of 280 high-end buildings in the country. The first phase targeted 40 buildings in and around Nairobi’s CBD; boosting Safaricom’s GSM, UMTS and LTE customer user experience.

The provision of high performance networks in Africa is not a consumer luxury; but also plays a role in building high performing sectors within the region. Huawei’s development of an enhanced LTE solution in the Kenyan market has helped improve the emergency communication of police. Together with Safaricom, the mobile vendor deployed the eLTE emergency communications network in Nairobi’s suburban areas up to a 10 km distance from the city, and in the urban areas of Mombasa. The system offers voice, video, and data services on the eLTE emergency network thereby improving the police department’s efficiency in communicating with key stakeholders in emergency situations. The eLTE Solution is set to be extended to other major cities and roads within Kenya.

 

Project Isizwe wins Best Connectivity Solution for Africa & Best App for Africa Award

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Image credit:projectisizwe.org

 

Africa has leapfrogged the technology space in terms of the landline to mobile transition. Due to the lack of fixed infrastructure, mobile developments have taken over.  Mobile has helped decrease the digital divide and has brought connectivity to previously marginalized consumer groups. Access to mobility (both in terms of connectivity & handset ownership) aside; usage of data services on mobile phones has proven to be expensive for lower income groups within Africa.  Two years ago Project Isizwe, in partnership with the City of Tshwane South Africa, went on a journey to deploy free WiFi access to low-income communities in and around the city. The project helped provide free internet access to educational faculties and is set to embody the “anytime, anywhere” element of mobility by erecting over 1 800 live sites for users to access the government-funded free WiFi network.

According to a 2015 Mobile Study done by GeoPoll and World Wide Worx; browsing the internet is one of the top 5 activities used on a mobile phone. Communicating via instant messaging and social media are also high activity features. South Africa leads in app downloads, with 34% of phone users making downloads from app stores; as compared to 31% in Ghana, 28% in Nigeria, 19% in Kenya, and 18% in Uganda. Project Isizwe is well aware of South Africans need to constantly stay in touch with friends and family and the rising app culture within the country. Together with the City of Tshwane, the non-profit organization launched a WiFi VoIP application aiming to provide free calls between app users connected to the city’s free WiFi network.  This app won AfricaCom’s “Best App for Africa” award for Project Isizwe.

First National Bank Takes Home the Excellence in Customer Experience Management & Most Innovative Service Award

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Image credit: mybroadband

The African mobile and banking space is at its peak in terms of the number of players in the market and services provided. All competitors need have a solid differentiating strategy that will pull customers their way. In a price-sensitive, mobile driven market like Africa; the leader will almost always be the one offering the best service at the lowest price. FNB, one of the big four banks in South Africa; recently launch its FNB Connect mobile network; Making it the first South African financial institution to launch a mobile network. The services offered by FNB Connect cater for both prepaid and contract customers offering them an array of affordable voice, data and text services.

Other winners in the 2015 AfricaCom Awards were:
Best Cost Efficiency Solution for Africa – PCCW Global – Keeping African international voice traffic in Africa
VSAT Innovation for Africa – Vodacom DRC for their Rural Coverage System
Best Marketing Campaign – Unitel for Kisom
Best Mobile Money Service – Ericsson for their Wallet platform
Best Device for Africa – Orange for Orange Klif
Best Pan African Initiative – Trace TV and Music – Trace Music Star
CEO of the Year – Millicom Ghana Limited – Mrs Roti Mootman
Changing Lives Awards – Liquid Teleocm – Office of the President (Kenya) and Liquid Telecom – free WiFi in Nakuru County

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