With LTE subscriptions continually growing throughout Africa and with LTE networks expected to cover 50% of the population in the next four years, the technology is in a great place to change the region’s telecommunications landscape forever.
As LTE subscriptions in Africa continue to grow, and with 50% of the population expected to be covered by LTE networks by 2018, LTE stands to change the region’s communication landscape forever.
With this in mind, this year’s LTE Africa event, which will be co-located with AfricaCom2014, the continent’s largest telecommunications event, provides the perfect setting to bring together the pan-African LTE ecosystem. The three-day conference and exhibition (November 11-13, Cape Town) will explore the key contributing factors for LTE success, including the development of sustainable business models, the need for enhanced spectrum management and backhaul optimisation.
The conference kicks off with a speech from Safaricom’s CTO, Thibaud Rerolle, who will showcase the key factors for LTE Success for Kenya. Following this, the session provides an overview of the practical challenges hindering LTE deployment and how these can be solved. A panel on overcoming the obstacles of successful LTE deployment will be attended by senior representatives from Airtel Africa, Surfline Communications, Alcatel Lucent, MTC Namibia and Smile Communications. The first day of the event also includes a dedicated session led by the 3GPP addressing a range of important standardisation issues. Closing the day, speakers from China Communications Services and Telkom Mobile will focus on the opportunities and challenges of TD-LTE in Africa, including combining TD-LTE and FD-LTE networks, using TD-LTE as a differentiator and the opportunities for spectrum efficiency with TD-LTE.
Speaker, Miguel Geraldes, CEO of MTC Nambia, said: “LTE for our industry, in particular for Mobile Network Operators, is not a yes or a no, but a when. Regarding this, MTC started very early and focused on LTE in May 2012 and is now reaching a relevant success case that can be shown to others: increasing 3.6 folds total data since the launch of the 4GLTE until now, of which the 4GLTE component is currently generating the data that is processed by MTC’s Network. MTC’s achievement’s together with other accomplishments of others MNO’s, in my opinion, is valuable enough to attend the LTE Africa event.
Day Two of the event will address the key technical challenges of LTE deployment, such as the need to optimise core and radio access networks to cater for increased traffic from LTE, the implementation of fibre backhaul, test and measurement solutions and network security concerns. Wilson Berthold Tsibo, Group CTIO of Azur Telecom Group will reveal how to guarantee a successful LTE rollout, covering how to access new spectrum space for LTE and how to maximise the opportunities for spectrum-reframing. Day Two closes with discussions on optimising the fibre backhaul, Dr Marten Scheffer, General Manager of Network Engineering at Neotel, will analyse schemes to share LTE backhaul and address the challenge of financing LTE backhaul.
Tom Allen, Chief Operating Officer at Smile Communications, who is set to speak at the conference, added: “LTE Africa is one of very few events in the region where LTE is given centre stage. As a very rare animal – a green field new entrant in the mobile sector – we feel it is an ideal venue to promote our view of the future using LTE and to discuss other people’s approaches in an open and friendly manner. We believe that LTE will transform the data and voice markets in Africa, but the exact shape of that transformation is still being created, participating in the event will help shape what Smile delivers to the market and we hope that what we say and more importantly do, will help shape what others do.
Commercial aspects of LTE rollout, particularly in regards to monetising LTE and effective business models, will be the focus for the final day of the event bringing together a number of operator case studies. Irene Charnley, CEO of Smile Communications will open the day with a case study presentation focusing on overcoming the challenges of an African LTE launch, addressing key monetisation concerns and showcasing the revenue opportunities. This is then followed by a presentation from Surfline’s Director of Marketing, Rosy Fynn, showcasing their LTE deployments in Ghana. Day Three of the LTE Africa event will also provide a platform for presentations from the CEO of MTC Namibia: the Senior Director of Mobile Core Planning at Etisalat UAE and Vodacom’s Head of m-Health in Emerging Markets who all will also be showcasing their activities and plans for monetising LTE and making the most of these faster and more efficient networks.
Closing the event, we will review the devices that currently enable LTE and the devices set to bring LTE to more Africans than ever before. LTE Africa will analyse how these devices can be made accessible, affordable and accountable through collaboration with network operators and device manufacturers.
Mohammed Redi Abshero,Senior Director/Mobile Core Planning at Etisalat UAE, commented on the importance of the event: “The fast pace of mobile broadband, exciting apps and ever increasing customer demands, requires cooperation among the Telecom industry. LTE Africa event is a very good opportunity to discuss the latest development in LTE and to share VoLTE experience. Moreover, it is the most important event to meet and to share notions with the leading experts and decision maker in the region,
LTE Africa and AfricaCom together will also play host to over 160 exhibitors set to attract key players from across Africa, including Vodacom, Telkom, Google, Nokia, and Samsung.
The event will be held at the Cape Town International Conference Centre in Cape Town, South Africa from November 11 – 13. To plan your visit and view the full event program, or to register for the event, please visit http://africa.lteconference.com. Alternatively, keep up-to-date with the event on Twitter using @LTEWorldSeries or #LTEAfrica. Service providers may attend the conference at no charge.
* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA