Credit: Footprint to Africa
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Despite the high levels of mobile penetration in Kenya, fixed broadband penetration rate sits at less than two percent, which fails to meet the network requirements for the next generation of home and business users, and potentially offers new market opportunities for carriers.

According to the ITU’s “Impact of broadband on the economy” report, broadband networks create jobs directly and indirectly, with positive spillover effects for businesses and consumers. Broadband adoption within organizations is shown to lead to gains in productivity, while residential adoption is shown to lead to growth in household expendable income.

Through broadband, businesses can use a variety of cloud-based services to accelerate digital transformation, while individuals stand to benefit from improved access to education, healthcare, mobility, government services, and more.

Moving a step further, the Broadband Commission’s State of Broadband Report has identified the creation of “Knowledge Cities”, which builds on the Smart City concept by putting human beings explicitly at their center, and focuses on greater inclusion, pluralism, participation, education, diversity, creativity and human well-being.

Safaricom is expanding in the Kenyan Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) market by innovatively tackling current challenges as scattered user distribution, high network construction costs and low early phase service provisioning rates and revenues.

Cost-effective end-to-end solution
To determine precise investments, based on the idea of value-oriented network construction, Safaricom uses analytics to determine network rollout in line with customer demand as its first step.  Thereafter, the company deployed Huawei’s end-to-end FTTH solution, utilizing the existing metropolitan area network’s optical aerial cables where possible to cut down on construction time.

With Huawei’s lightweight mini operations support system (OSS), Safaricom was further able to reduce the system integration period and complete deployment within three months instead of eighteen months.

Huawei also provided a smartphone app that integrates installation, maintenance, and operations supports on-site service provisioning and acceptance and shortens the service provisioning period from two weeks to less than 48 hours – doubling the installation rate.

Jeff Wang, President of Huawei’s Access Network Product Line, says, “Emerging markets place strong demands on FTTH network services. The top challenge that operators face is shortening the ROI period and the Huawei E2E FTTH solution solves this. It features precise investment, fast network construction, quick service provisioning, and efficient operations and maintenance, enabling operators to greatly shorten the return on investment period and achieve business success.”

To date, Huawei has provided ultra-broadband (UBB) access services to 500 million home users globally.