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Ericsson Mobility Report: 5G is estimated to cover 60 percent of the world’s population in 2026

Momentum continues in the build-out of 4G (LTE) networks. Global 4G population coverage will be over 80 percent at the end of 2020 and is forecast to reach around 95 percent in 2026.

4G networks are also evolving to deliver increased network capacity and faster data speeds.

There are currently 795 commercial 4G networks deployed.

 Of these, 324 have been upgraded to LTE-Advanced, and 41 Gigabit LTE networks have been commercially launched.

According to Ericsson Mobility Report released on Monday, 30th November, 2020, the 5G launch and deployment as per the end of 2019 Global 5G population coverage was around 5 percent at the end of 2019, with the main deployments made in larger cities.

The most extensive coverage build-outs have been in the US, China, South Korea and Switzerland.

In South Korea, service providers rapidly built 5G networks that covered a large part of the population.

In Switzerland, 5G population coverage reached over 90 percent at the end of 2019. 5G estimated to cover over 1 billion people by the end of 2020.

 To date, there have been more than 100 5G commercial launches across the world. The estimated population coverage by the end of 2020 is approximately 15 percent, equivalent to over 1 billion people.

5G coverage build-out can be divided into three broad deployments:

  1. New bands in the sub-6GHz range
  2. mmWave frequency bands
  3. Existing LTE bands

“There are big differences between countries in how service providers have deployed 5G. In the US, all three of these categories have been used, resulting in 5G coverage for a large part of the population. In Europe, countries such as Germany and Spain have used deployments in existing bands to create substantial coverage. China has mainly deployed new bands to achieve a large population coverage.” Explains part of the report.

The findings also highlighted that 5G estimated to cover around 60 percent of the population in 2026.

 There are several global factors impacting the forecast; the most evident short-term ones are COVID-19 and the geopolitical situation.

The exact impact of these factors on 5G population coverage remains to be seen. 5G is still expected to be the fastest deployed mobile communication technology in history and is forecast to cover about 60 percent of the world’s population in 2026.

Growth of Mobile Subscription in Sub-Saharan Africa

In Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile subscriptions will continue to grow over the forecast period as mobile penetration, at 84 percent, is less than the global average.

LTE is estimated to account for around 15 percent of subscriptions by the end of 2020.

LTE stands for “Long Term Evolution” and is a marketing phrase to signify progression toward true 4G.

Over the forecast period mobile broadband subscriptions are predicted to increase, reaching 76 percent of mobile subscriptions.

While 5G and LTE subscriptions will continue to grow over the next 6 years, HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) will remain the dominant technology with a share of over 40 percent in 2026.

The November Ericsson Mobility Report revealed that driving factors behind the growth of mobile broadband subscriptions include a young, growing population with increasing digital skills and more affordable smartphones.

Over the forecast period, discernible volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching 5 percent in 2026.

Middle East and North Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa region, around 30 percent of mobile subscriptions are estimated to be for LTE at the end of 2020. The region is anticipated to evolve over the forecast period, and by 2026, almost 80 percent of subscriptions are expected to be for mobile broadband, with LTE as the dominant technology with more than 50 percent of the subscriptions.

Commercial 5G deployments with leading service providers have taken place here during 2019 and 2020 and 5G subscriptions will reach close to 1.4 million by the end of 2020, with most in the Gulf countries.

Significant 5G volumes are expected in 2021 and the region is likely to reach around 130 million 5G subscriptions in 2026, representing around 15 percent of total mobile subscriptions.

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Ericsson Accelerating Africa’s Digital Future

Digital transformation driven innovative solutions and 5G internet to propel Africa towards the digital future were some of the highlights at the 2020 Virtual Africa Tech Festival (AfricaCom) from November 9 to 12, 2020.

The unprecedented event of 2020 has brought into focus the critical role that digital infrastructure plays in the functioning of almost every aspect of contemporary society.

At the event, global tech giant, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) took center stage to share its role of connectivity in powering Africa’s digital future and in achieving a positive impact on people’s lives.

KT Press’s Daniel Sabiiti spoke to Ericsson Rwanda Spokesperson and Country Manager Jacques Kabandana (JK) to find out what the company has in package for Africa.

KT Press – What is the Ericsson plan, prospectus and progress on the 5G network in Africa? Where are we and what is being done to roll out this network?

JK- 5G holds immense potential of opportunities in Africa, driving the industry’s digitization and the pursue for innovation. 5G commercialization is planned between 2020 and 2022, with a focus on use cases and applications relevant in the African context. These include: Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Fixed Wireless Access, and the Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

As 5G offers greater throughput and lower latency, it will bring more use cases to Internet of Things, enabling massive connectivity and allowing new applications for consumers and enterprises such as smart vehicles and transport, architecture, remote healthcare and new levels of automation and human-IoT interaction.

Ericsson has been working in close partnership with African service providers on 5G from tests in the lab, field trials, and now initial customer deployment. Throughout this process, our customers and their service requirements are our top priority. Our aim is to build a network to cater for current and future required services.

In addition to facilitating the delivery of next-generation mobile broadband, cloud and providing support for massive IoT deployment, this collaboration will also enable new industry use cases thanks to increased throughput and reduced latency.

KT Press- How much is Ericsson investing in this network and which African regions or countries will be among the first beneficiaries?

JK- Ericsson is working with key service providers across the continent, helping them create new services, new customer bases and new digital ecosystems.

At the forefront of the digital transformation, MTN selected Ericsson a primary 5G vendor for the deployment of a live 5G network in Africa. As a partner, Ericsson is deploying next-generation technology with built-in customizations and innovations to deliver rich consumer experience while building a robust, future-proof network. The 5G-ready solutions in the Ericsson Radio System portfolio will help boost the capacity of MTN’s LTE network and broaden the availability of high-quality mobile broadband services for its subscribers.

In a related development, Telma Madagascar switched on their 5G commercial network to offer subscribers high-speed services enabled by the new generation of mobile connectivity. Powered by Ericsson, the 5G network is now live at 16 sites, and will further expand to five more sites during the course of 2020.

Ericsson is proud to contribute to Africa’s journey to building communication capabilities of the future and complement its efforts towards a vibrant digital economy. Our solutions help African service providers to automate, manage, and orchestrate hybrid networks in real time, while they engage digitally with customers and monetize improved customer experiences.

KT Press- 5G internet is an exciting progress in technological advancement but the biggest question is affordability. How do you plan on addressing this concern of which while internet is driving lives of many Africans, its access is still begging?

JK- In Sub-Saharan Africa, LTE accounted for around 11% of subscriptions in 2019. Broadband subscriptions are predicted to increase, reaching 72% of mobile subscriptions by 2025, according to the June 2020 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report. LTE share will reach around 30% by the end of the forecast period, and LTE subscriptions are set to triple, increasing from 90 million in 2019 to 270 million in 2025.

Driving factors behind the growth of mobile broadband subscriptions include a young and growing population with increasing digital skills, and more affordable smartphones. Over the forecast period, discernible volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching 3% by 2025.

In Africa, the evolution of 4G into 5G could be a powerful economic growth engine, particularly as this advanced mobile technology is deployed looking into improving productivity in key vertical industrial sectors.

The aim is for 5G networks to be highly efficient, faster, support more users, more devices, more services, and new use cases without a corresponding impact on cost or carbon footprint. 5G will revolutionize five key industries including: TV and media; manufacturing; healthcare; telecommunications and transportation and infrastructure.

KT Press- What is Ericsson’s plan in Accelerating Africa’s digital agenda, and what will this entail?

JK– Africa represents a world of opportunity for us at Ericsson and we are eager to grow our business and presence in the continent. We see a real potential in African markets when it comes to 4G and fintech adoption. To address that, we focus on supporting our customers in the African markets with relevant and cost-effective 4G solutions and services, all while adapting to Africa’s requirements.

The continent has emerged as one of the strongest adopters of innovation, with the rapid rise in usage of technology and smartphones. Just look at how mobile money was initiated in Africa and is now surging all over the continent.

Moreover, Africa has come a long way in its digitisation journey – from mobile telephony to broadband, and from connecting to digitising key economic sectors, jobs, education, healthcare, government and society in general.

We all agree that Africa is witnessing a major technology shift and the pace of change in Africa is becoming exponential. At Ericsson, we have launched #AfricaInMotion to accelerate technology roll-out in Africa together with our partners and reiterate our commitment to the continent.

KT Press- COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the world and how we do business. Has Ericsson picked any lessons from the COVID-19 crisis which could change the way the company does its business in this new normal, and possibly inform its investments in the Africa digital agenda?

JK- The pandemic has driven adoption and increased usage of many ICT services that have enabled consumers to build a new normal underpinned by connectivity. The massive disruption caused by COVID-19 has demonstrated the criticality of the network in today’s society and we are currently working closely with our customers to keep their networks running.

With our commitment to innovation and long history of engaging in Africa’s telecom industry, we at Ericsson are driven to deliver the next-generation technology solutions to Africa. These can enable sweeping changes to industrial production, allow seamless access to societal services and provide people with ways of living harmoniously with their environment.

A young and growing African population with savvy digital skills and behaviour could offset some adverse trends such as the current slowdown in global trade caused by the COVID-19 restrictions and indicate favourable growth for telecom and ICT services.

The current COVID-19 restrictions have demonstrated the benefits of a digitized economy, facilitating working from home as an example. This could prove to be an opportunity for Africa to accelerate its journey towards raising the role digital and telecom services play in a socio-economical context.

KT Press- How Ericsson is involved driving the virtual leadership in Africa which is one of the ways to build Africa’s most powerful business networks.

JK– We believe that ICT is the catalyst for digital transformation, with mobile networks being the crucial ingredient in increasing Africa’s economic competitiveness in the global arena. While we have witnessed impressive market developments in recent years, Africa’s ICT sector still has growth potential compared to leading economies.

A conducive, enabling policy environment that generates regulatory certainty is key to encouraging market development through partnerships, entrepreneurship, job creation and knowledge sharing. We at Ericsson are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate and engage with partners across the board to facilitate such policy development to fast tracking digitization across the African continent and our recent collaboration with the African Telecommunications Union is one example.

Another initiative we have launched is our “Ericsson Graduates Program “, a program that will offer fresh graduates a chance to join experienced Ericsson staff for on-the-job, online and classroom learning followed by recruitment to join the Ericsson world. The program also engages with young talents from Africa – the changemakers-to explore and identify innovative ideas that reflect and capture the needs of the continent with an ambition to accelerate the African markets’ digitalization journey.

KT Press- At AfricaCom 2020, Ericsson presented innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of its customers’ network operations. What are some of these solutions and how will they make a difference?

JK- Ericsson showcased digital transformation and innovation solutions to propel Africa towards the future with an interactive exhibition dedicated to 5G, AI, IoT, blockchain, fintech, cloud, data centers and security.

As part of our Africa in Motion campaign, Ericsson’s focus at the event is on building the networks of Africa and accelerating its digital agenda using AI and automation as value creators. Experts highlighted CSR initiatives including Tech for Good and UNICEF GIGA Program as well as a wide range of connectivity solutions in addition to participating in empowering discussions and forming strategic partnerships geared towards unlocking new opportunities in the continent.

Ericsson also presented innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of its customers’ network operations, allowing them to focus on new services and technologies, and ultimately improve the experience for the user – driven by Ericsson’s Africa in Motion campaign.

KT- Ericsson plans on Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation across the Entire Lifecycle of Network Operations. Is Africa ready for AI and how do you plan on making this workable especially with issues surrounding personal data security and access to reliable internet in Africa?

JK- Africa has great readiness to embrace AI today. There is a very high potential to advance AI in both development and application fronts in Africa, and Ericsson is executing plans to build on this already.

We have been hiring data engineers, data scientists and data analysts based in African countries. One of the few Ericsson AI talent hubs is based in Africa already. We have also been deploying different AI use cases in different networks in the continent, so applying AI across the entire network operations lifecycle is a reality in Africa today.

Yet, as you have correctly mentioned, making this workable requires special attention to data privacy and security regulations as well as the infrastructure status in each country. We have seen different maturity levels across countries, so we believe that one solution will not fit all.

For example, we have used data anonymization techniques to ensure that if user-identifying information is being processed or transferred, it is done in the strictest manner adhering to local laws. We have also opted to use local instances of our AI algorithms wherever data transfer is not possible due to regulation, cost or infrastructure reliability.

KT Press- Ericsson is excited to participate at this year’s AfricaCom to continue setting #AfricaInMotion. What does this mean for the company and its Africa operations?

JK- The unprecedented events of 2020 have brought into focus the critical role that digital infrastructure plays in the functioning of virtually every aspect of contemporary society. Africa is home to over a billion people and the population is expected to grow in the coming years. It is also a continent with the most growing economies. ICT is essential for Africa’s development and adequate ICT service deployment and digital connectivity will play a crucial role in the continent achieving economic sustainability.

We are working with customers across Africa to build best performing network intelligence and automation solutions for increased speed and efficiency. Connectivity is pivotal to how we operate as a company and AfricaCom gave us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to driving Africa’s digital future.

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Judiciary To Start Blacklisting Convicts Of Sexual Abuse

The Chief Justice Dr. Faustin Ntezilyayo has said that plans to publish names of persons who sexually abuse children is under consideration as requested by the parliament.

Dr. Ntezilyayo said that the current legal reforms will consider this aspect but all partners in the justice sector have taken up ‘arms’ to combine efforts in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse which has put the country on its heels.

The move comes after a recent Senate Social Affairs, Human Rights and Petitions Commission report presented on November 17, 2020 requested the government to consider blacklisting and publishing names of adults who sexually abuse under age children as a way of addressing concerns on this issue.

“This should be done as it is in the case of blacklisted civil servants by the labor commission, as done by the ombudsman for corrupt officials,” said Commission Chairperson Senator Adrie Umuhire.

The senate request follows several private, government entities and parliament that raised concerns of the issue of child sexual abuse cases increasing, especially during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown period.

Rwanda Health Management Information System (HealMIS) report shows that in 2017 there were 17,337 cases of teen pregnancies and in 2018, they reached 19,832 cases while in 2019 teen pregnancies hit 23,628, of which the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) only managed to arrest and file court cases for 4,265 suspected child abusers.

Chief Justice Dr. Faustin Nteziryayo

And under covid-19 lockdown (from March to June 2020) cases of teenage pregnancies reached 13,257 across the country.

The Senate report, presented by Sen. Adrie Umuhire, also showed that there has been a lag in prosecuting persons suspected of child abuse, due to silence over the issue, out of court negotiation and failure for the prosecution to collect enough evidence to pin the suspects.

In 2016/17 fiscal year, National Prosecution office received 2086 files regarding defilement but only 61% (1285) made it to court and 1052 cases won.

The following fiscal year, 2017/18, 2996 files were received and 1866 reached court and 1472 were won.

In 2018/19, the cases increased to 3363 files and 2221 of these made it to court while 1621 of them got a conviction.

Col Jeannot Ruhunga, Executive Secretary Rwanda Investigation Bureau(RIB)

Basing on this data, Chief Justice said that the judiciary is aware of these issues that have been brought up at several levels and they are planning on acting to the plight of government.

“The possibility of blacklisting such convicted people (child abusers) is being considered in the ongoing legal reforms but we will follow up on this issue as a combined effort,” Dr. Ntezilyayo said Monday during a press conference to launch the 2020 judicial week.

As a matter of combined efforts, a Rwandan digital innovative media company, Hooza has also announced plans to use its mobile services product to intervene in solving this issue through providing free child abuse and pregnancy prevention messages that are broadcast on mobile phones.

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Hooza Media To Use Mobile Solutions In Preventing Teen Pregnancies

A Rwandan digital innovative media company, Hooza, is planning to use its mobile services product to intervene in the country’s bid to create information-based solutions to addressing the issue of increasing teenage pregnancies.

With the increased access to the mobile phone in Rwanda, the media company uses its mobile audio solution, to engaged and enhance citizen engagement in election education among rural populations in Rwanda.

With this solution Hooza uses mobile phones as a medium to broadcast short voice messages to beneficiaries who receive key information on election news and updates, sport, health, education among other categories.

This in collaboration with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) was very crucial in the civic education and awareness during the 2017 presidential election period.

The campaign saw more than 400,000 citizens responding everyday with their concerns and inquiries in order to check their names on voting lists, the location of the voting bureau, what they do in case they lose their ID, details on the candidates’ names and backgrounds, or at what age they can vote.

In return, the Electoral Commission was able to collect their feedback in real time and immediately address their particular problems, requests or situations.

The effectiveness of this medium, according to Hooza is that mobile audio solution addresses the urgent need for African institutions to strengthen their communications by ensuring that a majority of individuals are reachable and can participate in the sustainable development of their community, when indeed, 88% of the population does not have access to the internet and 32% is not literate.

Using this experience, of which Victor Nkindi, the Founder and CEO Hooza says is cheaper, affordable and effective in media communication and information dissemination, compared to social media, the company is  planning to use the same medium to reach more teenagers prone or faced with challenges of living with effects of early pregnancies.

Enhancing community health literacy in sexual reproductive health.

“We are sourcing institutional partners to secure airtime cost so that the content can be delivered for free, (and) we are looking for maximum advocacy and lobbying,” Nkindi said.

Nkindi said that the target group will be all communities countrywide who will get messages aimed at prevention, education and supporting teenagers who have been victims of sexual abuse.

Nkindi made the revelation on Friday in a virtual discussion during the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Botswana in which Rwanda was represented by Hooza, and discussed the “Power of media influence on Africa’s Startup Ecosystem” sharing Rwanda’s example.

In seven years of operations, Hooza said it has accumulated an audience of 2.6 million users in Rwanda and five other African countries where Hooza deployed its services.

By introducing this new medium of communication, Nkindi said they will be able to equally reach out and address the problem of teenage pregnancies using access to critical information (Mobile Governance).

This initiative comes at a time when government is seeking lasting solutions to end child sexual abuse and increasing teenage pregnancies which has been escalated by the Covid-19 crisis.

For example, the Rwanda Health Management Information System (HealMIS) report shows that in 2017 there were 17,337 cases of teen pregnancies and in 2018, they reached 19,832 cases while in 2019 teen pregnancies hit 23,628, of which the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) only managed to arrest and file court cases for 4,265 suspected child abusers.

And under covid-19 lockdown (from March to June 2020) cases of teenage pregnancies reached 13,257 across the country.

The GEW Botswana session was attended by Benedict Mooketsi from Botswana Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN-Botswana), former Miss Botswana, Malebogo Marumoagae from Belle Larissa (a consultancy startup) and moderated by Keletso Mokolwane of Afripreneur.

The participants wanted to learn from the Hooza media’s experience as a way of transferring the same business solutions to their respective countries where access to information is barred by lack of internet access or illiteracy.

“We need to think what we can do with media tools like those Hooza has developed. How do we bring such solutions to other markets such as Botswana,” Benedict Mooketsi asked for more details of how each country can transfer startups to the others to solve problems that need innovation.

Nkindi said that if other countries can do what Rwanda has done, to embark on good governance, business-enabling policies and investment environment this would allow startup business to grow, however, stated that though Rwanda has progressed in startup innovation space, skills training and financial management are areas where the country is also looking for help from others.

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Rwanda encourages more U.S, EU Investments as Private sector strives to recover from COVID 19 impacts

The European Union and the US Embassy in Rwanda have pledged to sustain cooperation with the Government of Rwanda in continuing to promote investment while the country continues to deal with the impact of COVID 19 on economic growth as well as the investment and trade sectors.

The talks on cooperation between the two partners and the Government of Rwanda were held at the European Business Chamber (EBCR) and American Chamber in Rwanda (AmCham) Webinar with the Chief Executive Officer of  Rwanda Development Board Clare Akamanzi who highlighted how the Government of Rwanda managed the complicated times of COVID 19 and how the recovery programs will need joint effort as the country’s economic growth has hardly hit by the pandemic despite positive hopes in the recovery.

The webinar was attended by Board members for the EU and the American Chambers of Commerce, the EU Ambassador to Rwanda, the US Ambassador to the Rwanda as well as Claire Akamanzi, the CEO of the RDB and ‘others.

In the course of the webinar, the EU Ambassador Nicola Bellomo commends the Government of Rwanda’s efforts to combat COVID 19 and the Establishment of the Economic Recovery Fund, which was created to address the impact of the epidemic on the economy and especially on the Private sector.

Ambassador Bellomo also commends the government and the people of Rwanda for the effective and timely response to COVID 19 adding that “We as European Union, we are strongly supporting thanks to what we call the team Europe approach the government of Rwanda in the response to this crisis.”

He added that “On the social economic response, we also particularly welcome the establishment of the economic recovery fund” while at the same time both partners might also identify through the crises some unseen opportunities with a shared interest in supporting the government of Rwanda in laying the foundation for a stronger and more resilient economic development model.

On the U.S support, Ambassador Peter Vrooman said that since the beginning of COVID, the United States has been helping Rwanda cope with the epidemic through a variety of recovery support, including in health, the private sector and also contribution to the Recovery Fund.

Claire Akamanzi comment on the existing measures to promote investment in Rwanda in the face of the global economic crisis, says that the Rwandan government has revised its investment code including facilitating investors through various incentives and this gives hope that the Rwanda’s economy will return to normal.

Madam Akamanzi explains that the new investment code is going to be very catalytic in attracting more investments in Rwanda and the reason for that is that “we’ve created an investment code that is very pragmatic and also very much aligned with our performance.”

She says “We have new sectors that we are giving incentives like financial services because of the international financial Centre that we’re putting in place.”

Recently, the cabinet meeting led by President Paul Kagame has approved the composition of IFC (International financial Corporation) which is tasked to provide a wide range of investment and advisory services that help businesses and entrepreneurs meet the challenges they face in the marketplace.

Claire Akamanzi added that this is part of supporting innovation by coming up with seed capital fund in the investments sector.

“We are also incentivizing industrial park development because it has been a very good source of manufacturing I think if you read the investment code at the draft investment code you see exactly where what to expect to be in terms of economic priorities, because those have been very specifically located incentives.” She noted

“I am also really excited that we’re increasingly seeing companies coming to set up their headquarters in Rwanda, or their regional offices and we’ve catered for their needs.” Akamanzi told the Webinar

She commends philanthropic organizations that are looking at Africa and looking for regional offices in Africa.

Clare Akamanzi also expressed gratitudes to all the chambers (EU and American) and assuring them that RDB is ready to continue to help all investors through various departments including one that has access to information on Investment in Rwanda.

She says that the US and the European region geographies remained very important sources for investment in Rwanda.

“So, we’re very happy to see that this platform is an added platform for engagement, but on the recovery fund, obviously, first of all, and the whole recovery of our economy.” She noted

“This year is going to be something that we are learning about as we go on and many of you have followed the economy performance over the last year’s 2019 for me was probably the best year you know in our achievements, the economy grew at 9.4% one of the highest in a while our investments reached a record $2.4 billion of investment deals that we registered in Rwanda development Board.

“We had the biggest growth of tourism at $ 490 million dollars in 2019 and so 2020 for us we started very excited thinking it’s going to be a sustained high performance on the economy on tourism and investment and then of course COVID 19 happened and the picture is not as we had expected in January of this year, we expect the economy to contract by point 2% that’s the latest projection from IMF” Akamanzi explains.

The contractions on the economy will happen because of the tough decisions that the government had to take in order to contain COVID 19 which was important.

“And so, we’ve seen that the tough decisions that slowed down the economy helped manage better COVID 19 and we’re very encouraged when we see how Rwanda is being viewed by the rest of the world in terms of the pandemic control.

COVID 19 has had a detrimental effect on the country’s economy where it has slowed down the existing economy and hit most the private sector and tourism while they are the cornerstone of Rwanda’s economy.

Such discussions are hopefully to play a role in reminding investors that Rwanda is still the best place to bring investment as a fresh and growing market destination.

Read the original story here: https://www.topafricanews.com/2020/11/18/rwanda-encourages-more-u-s-eu-investments-as-private-sector-strives-to-recover-from-covid-19-impacts/

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Hooza Media launches its video streaming services

  • A response to the increase need of video streaming to extend branded content to a tech centric audience;
  • An innovation for virtual conferencing and outdoor events;
  • Powering Rwanda’s internet network and promote digital inclusion;

Hooza, a Rwandan based media and tech house is unveiling its IP based live video streaming solution as a response to the increase need of remote video conferencing solution.

The digital technology will support effort from corporate and institutions to streamline their internal workflow with remote workplaces as it has been the norm since the beginning of the pandemic and the lockdown.

Hooza Media IP video streaming will focus on a customer centric approach where workgroups, health workers, humanitarians, students, can work via a video webinar interface in an office, a class or a conference configuration.

Hooza is training its clients in order to support SME’s transformation strategies and NGO constraints to optimize performances leading to faster decision making process with remote workers and stakeholders.

IP video streaming services by Hooza media comes after a series of innovative products and services Hooza has launched in Rwanda and 10 African countries since 2013 that include mass awareness audio service for mobile broadcast and voice survey and polls over feature phones.

About Hooza:

Hooza is a Rwandan based convergent media using digital opportunities to offer innovative experience to access content since 2013.

Using unified platforms, we broadcast on-demand text, voice and video programs accessible to all mobile users in Africa.

The firm has more than a decade of experience in broadcast programming, media and marketing managed services.

Hooza’s mission is to offer innovative media services and a unique communications expertise.

The company can be reached at: press@hooza.rw and www.hooza.rw.

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Ericsson Interview –October 2020

Spokesperson: Todd Ashton, Vice President and Head of Ericsson East and South Africa

  1. Take us through the Historical background of Ericsson and how the company’s administration decided to invest into the Rwandan and East African Market?

Ericsson has done business in East Africa for over 100 years when sales of telephone receivers commenced in 1894.We are well established with offices in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. We operate in the Information and Communication System (ICT) sector together with our partners being the services providers such as MTN and Airtel. Our comprehensive portfolio ranges across Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services and Emerging Business.

We at Ericsson believe that ICT has the ability to level the global playing field and enable African countries to harness the full potential of their human capital. We also agree that a well-planned policy and regulatory environment is key to encouraging partnerships, entrepreneurship, job creation and knowledge sharing.

  • Ericsson as a telecommunication company has invested in the modernization of its technologies. Where are you now in terms tech innovations? IoT for instance?

Massive IoT technologies continue to be rolled out around the world, but at a slightly slower pace in 2020 than previously forecast due to the impact of COVID-19. 2G and 3G connectivity still enable the majority of IoT applications, but during 2019, the number of Massive IoT connections increased by a factor of 3, reaching close to 100 million connections at the end of the year according to Ericsson Mobility Report figures.

At Ericsson, our new offerings within cellular IoT will enable service providers to address a larger part of the IoT market – with more advanced use cases, across multiple industries. Broadband IoT and Industrial Automation IoT are launched as new segments, to complement the existing segments Massive IoT and Critical IoT. We’ve also enhanced our Massive IoT offering which, together with new Broadband IoT solutions, are designed to leverage new capabilities across 4G and 5G – connecting service providers with new growth opportunities in industry digitalization. 

  • What are the feasible 5g applications for IoT that are applicable for social development in East Africa (ie health care, soil monitoring, education, transportation)?

5G will revolutionize 5 key industries including: TV and media; manufacturing; healthcare; telecommunications; and transportation and infrastructure. Ericsson’s 5G Business Potential report outlines a set of industries served by more than 200 qualified 5G-enabled use cases, divided into nine use case categories or clusters. These are enhanced video services, real-time automation, monitoring and tracking, connected vehicle, autonomous robotics, hazard and maintenance sensing, smart surveillance, remote operations and augmented reality.

Each use case category or cluster serves a set of industries. Looking at a couple of examples, ‘Enhanced video services’, is as expected, dominated by the media and entertainment industry. But in addition, more than half of its value comes from other industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing and public safety industries. For ‘Real-time automation’, the value is largely being built up on the industries of public transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. 

  • How do you stimulate the market and the SME’s appetite towards your services?

Our primary mission as a company is the development and deployment of mobile broadband.  This has major benefits both for the economy and for society and will unleash the innovation potential for both consumer and SMEs across Africa.  We believe that achieving broadband is a basic human right and we know that for every 1000 new broadband connections, 80 new jobs are created (Ericsson and ArthurDLittle). 

A 10% increase in mobile broadband adoption secures 0.6 to 2.8% GDP growth (Ericsson and Imperial college) and doubling of average achieved broadband speed generates an additional 0.3% GDP growth (e, ArthurD little, Chalmers university).  Therefore, we believe it’s important to accelerate the rollout of 4G and prepare for 5G in the near future.

One important enabler for the acceleration is the development and implementation of regulatory policies that stimulate investment and competition.  In most markets we see that about three license holders can make significant investments to achieve a good and affordable customer experience for mobile broadband while at the same time getting reasonable returns.  In Rwanda specifically, we are encouraging the release of technology neutral spectrum for mobile companies with a track record and willingness to invest in mobile broadband.  These licenses should be affordable and long term in nature, thereby creating a better case for investment in order to achieve the economic benefits outlined above.

  • How do you see the contribution of Ericsson in responding to digital divide in Africa and especially in countries of East Africa?

Our mission has always been to help our customers connect the unconnected. This can be challenging under normal circumstances but especially critical in a time of crisis like we have now.

Our engineers and field staff are part of critical teams deployed during a crisis. Our teams have been working around the clock to ensure our customers’ networks can withstand shifts in bandwidth needs as people continue to work and use video conferencing from home and kids are attending classes online instead of in the classroom.

The communications industry supports other industries by enabling them to deliver digital products and services such as health care, education, finance, commerce, governance and agriculture. It also plays a vital role in tackling climate change by helping other industries reduce emissions and improve efficiency. We are continuing to stay close to our customers to understand their needs, and we are doing everything possible to support our customers to maximize their network capacity and performance.

  • What are Ericsson’s projects taking place that one can benefit from? Especially for Young entrepreneurs in the nascent business ecosystems and those whose services tackle key development sectors?

Our annual Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) is a global competition that offers university students around the world the chance to develop new, innovative ideas with support from Ericsson experts. The 2020 Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) is a call to ‘Reclaim the Future.’ This year, the annual global competition calls on students around the globe to set major change in motion by committing to addressing the current and future challenges of climate action. Focused on how ICT/technology solutions can provide radical climate change mitigation for consumers and industry alike.

Ericsson also has a Graduate Program in several African countries including Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan and Angola. The program aims to fast-track young, potential leaders, train them in the Ericsson ways of working and strategy as well as ensure that they are geared up to meet the business challenges of the future.

Ericsson’s Graduate Program will cultivate change leaders and impactful executors in Africa who strive to make the company better through the orchestration of culture, process, and technology. It will develop ambitious, agile and high performing leaders who will contribute to next generation technologies for years to come.

In addition, Ericsson is committed to developing STEM leaders through digital transformation initiatives and events in East Africa. We are fully aware of the challenges in Rwanda when it comes to capacity building in various sectors including STEM which is one of the objectives of the Rwanda National Employment Program (NEP) and we are working on addressing its key objectives. Since its establishment in 2009, Ericsson Rwanda has focused on recruiting and empowering local talents, we are proud to have more local than foreign resources in our workforce.

  • Recently Ericsson has been ranked as the 12 most sustainably managed company in the world, congratulations! What are the lessons on the new normal and adaptation to remote working at Ericsson?

Sustainability is central to Ericsson’s purpose – and the company was recently ranked #12 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the World.

Ericsson’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility strategy focuses on three pillars: responsible business, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion. We firmly believe in sustainability practices based on science and embedded throughout our business can help create value for employees, customers, investors and – ultimately – society. It’s excellent recognition of cross-company collaboration to reduce risks and create positive impacts across our value-chain.

We are going through unprecedented times with the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted everyone around the world either directly or indirectly. As a global company with around 100,000 employees and presence in 180 countries, we are aware of our responsibilities towards the societies where we operate. Throughout this crisis, we guide our decisions by putting the safety and health of our employees, customers and partners as a first priority. Ericsson currently has a large number of employees working from home globally. All main production sites are currently in operation.

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Ericsson discusses accelerating Africa’s digital future at AfricaCom 2020

  • Ericsson experts to highlight the role of connectivity in powering Africa’s digital future
  • Focus on improving connectivity and bridging the digital divide

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) will discussits digital transformation and innovation solutions to propel Africa towards the future at AfricaCom, part of Africa Tech Festival, a virtual event taking place from November 9 to 12, 2020.

At the event, Ericsson willfocus on the role of connectivity in powering Africa’s digital future and in achieving a positive impact on people’s lives. As part of its keynotes and speaker sessions,Ericsson will cover topics such as how to realize the opportunities of a digitalized Africa, how smarter networks will accelerate Africa’s digital agenda, the progress and prospects of 5G in Africa, and howArtificial Intelligence (AI) and automation creates value across the lifecycle of network operations.

Ericsson will also host a roundtable about bridging the digital divide by focusing on connectivity for schools and learners. The Giga initiative is a UNICEF and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) initiative to connect every school, which identifies internet access for education as a key enabler for today’s youth. 

The unprecedented events of 2020 have brought into focus the critical role that digital infrastructure plays in the functioning of almost every aspect of contemporary society. Africa is home to over a billion people and the population is expected to grow in the coming years. It is also a continent with the most growing economies. ICT is essential for Africa’s development and adequate ICT service deployment and digital connectivity will play a crucial role in achieving economic sustainability in the continent.

Ericsson is excited to participate at this year’s AfricaCom to continue setting #AfricaInMotion. Register here for your free pass to join Ericsson’s sessions and roundtable: https://tmt.knect365.com/africacom/

Follow our hashtag #AfricaInMotion for live updates from the event.

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Africa in Motion: Driving innovation, economic growth & societal inclusion

By: Nora Wahby, Vice President and Head of Ericsson West Africa & Morocco

All around the world, digital transformation is becoming a critical factor in long-term, sustainable economic development, and Africa is no exception. With two decades of experience behind me, I feel a lot of pride in being part of a digital transformation journey with Ericsson which allows me to share my love of technology and how it can accelerate socio-economic prosperity towards the people of Africa.

We, at Ericsson, believe that ICT has the ability to level the global playing field and enable African countries to harness the full potential of their human capital. Almost two years ago, I landed in Africa for my first business trip to meet the team and customers in Senegal. Not only did the career move appeal to my sense of adventure and exploration, I was excited about the life-changing experiences about to unfold.

I did not know about the culture except few stories from my father who had visited Dakar in the 80s and who talked a lot about the kindness of the people and how much he loved the food, the music and the colors. 

As a business leader, my personal purpose ties very well into Ericsson’s vision in accelerating the broadband adoption in Africa. Ericsson’s vision calls for us to connect the unconnected because we believe that access to communication is a basic human need. We believe people in rural parts of Africa will benefit greatly from mobile connectivity, which greatly increases access to information and services that support health, education and small businesses.

In a world where all Africans have access to quality education and health service, this young continent will keep beating with endless opportunities building on a rich heritage, a vibrant culture and a young population dreaming of the future. Driven by a desire to better understand the needs of mobile users in Africa and provide them with specialized services, I committed to the vision of an empowered Africa through technology, innovation and the principles of digital inclusion. In my heart I’m determined to put #AfricaInMotion

A Connected Africa

Operating in a very mature and competitive market that has grown significantly in the last ten years, telecommunication service providers in Africa are playing an increasingly important role in helping both governments and cities deepen their understanding about the concrete steps they can take to increase Africa’s competitiveness in the global economy through supporting and encouraging the increased use of ICT.

Connectivity not only offers great potential to transform cities and industries, but it also fosters inclusion and makes a positive, sustainable economic impact. With the ambition of supporting the acceleration of Africa’s digitization journey, we are working jointly with our customers – the service providers – and other stakeholders across the continent to enable #AfricaInMotion. The campaign highlights the continent’s potential to accelerate digital adoption and leapfrog into a new era of socio-economic prosperity.

One example is financial inclusion through the use of digital technology as an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across the continent for both women and men, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities.

In my opinion, putting this campaign into action for Ericsson is key to strengthening Africa’s digital future underpinned by connectivity. Also, I am greatly encouraged by the fact that our attempt to foster inclusion and bridge the digital divide carries significant potential to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Spurring Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

During an unprecedented crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of fixed and mobile networks as the backbone of our society has become more apparent than ever before. Given the current speed and capacity of cellular networks with LTE, there are opportunities for African service providers to deliver broadband services to homes and small and medium-sized enterprises economically using Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).Several factors are driving the FWA market in Africa and beyond: demand from consumers and businesses for digital services along with government-sponsored programs and subsidies. 

Africa had my heart from Day 1, with its natural beauty, rich culture and friendly people. I have always felt welcome here. I am convinced that high-speed mobile connectivity will be instrumental in providing a stable platform for innovation and economic growth in the continent, not  least when we factor in the big potential that is still untapped by unlocking ecosystems and digitalizing our industry verticals such as the health sector, energy and utilities, transportation, agriculture, etc.

With the help of smart, long-term investments in infrastructure – including mobile broadband, fixed wireless access and fintech services.

-end-

For more, contact press@hooza.rw

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Ericsson launches Graduate Program in Africa to help innovate the future

  • Program to fast-track and train potential leaders and innovators to engage with the most exciting technology on the planet
  • Fresh graduates to work with pioneers in ICT and advanced thinkers in their chosen field
  • Ericsson offers virtual training programs for recent graduates during the pandemic

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) has announced the launch of its 2020 edition of the Graduate Program in Africa.The program aims to grow the technical skills of the graduates,train them in the Ericsson technology, solutions and their delivery and understanding our processes, methods and tools. In addition, getting exposed to working in a large global matrix driven organization in terms of the ways of working, understanding vision, mission, strategies, corporate culture and values of the company. All this to get geared up to meet the business challenges of the future.

We believe this graduate program helps build local talent for our African markets and helps build into our long-term commitment to develop and grow our business in Africa.This way we access the best talent and provide them careers in a global environment, over a period of time.

Caroline Berns, Head of Talent Acquisition at Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “The Fresh Graduate Program in Africa is designed to give graduates’ career an added momentum at just the right time – maximizing the skills they have gained in the course of their degree, adding more to their repertoire and equipping them to make a positive impact on the continent. Aiming to attract and guide the most talented, innovative and creative technology minds, the programs offers graduates an opportunity to engage with the most exciting technology on the planet and the challenges it brings.”

The Graduate Program helps Ericsson to move the needle on gender equality within the field of technology;half of the graduates hired are women. This is in alignment with Ericsson Educate andlocal Connect to Learn projects which empower women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields and leverage connectivity to increase access to education for children, especially girls. 

Our young graduates with curious andinnovative minds, work alongside the brightest minds in the industry and work on projects that are changing the world of communication and thus become the future of the telecoms industry in Africa.

Due to the sudden and unprecedented disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate Program will run virtually for the time being, and will focus on graduates in Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan and Angola. Applications are now closed for this phase but the program is expected to roll out in more countries in the continent during a second phase. Interested candidates can sign up for the job alert on Ericsson.com/careers to be informed immediately when new programs are being opened.

NOTES TO EDITORS

For media kits, backgrounders and high-resolution photos, please visit www.ericsson.com/press