ITNewsAfrica.com: What are Aviat Network’s recent developments in Africa?
Patrick Martini: As a recent development, we have just launched in Africa a longhaul, cross-country IP transmission radio with high capacity. More and more we facilitate the transition from old network structures to IP. We have been doing that in Europe since 2004 and Africa is still in the process of aggressively moving towards IP networks.
We find that a lot of operators underestimate switching to an IP network which is a lot cheaper to implement, but the actual designs are more complicated. We offer both equipment and network design expertise to operators such as Zain-Bharti, MTN, Vodacom in various African countries and major cities, Nigeria being our biggest base yet.
Part of our strategy is to bring microwave technology to African countries like Nigeria and support each country to develop itself, by offering training to local workforce. It is important for us to help develop these countries and its populations which would become more knowledgeable towards network infrastructures.
ITNewsAfrica.com: How involved is Aviat Networks in providing WiMAX technology to Africa?
Patrick Martini: Worldwide, Aviat is a WiMAX leader in providing transmission and subscriber units through our solution StarMAX, with the biggest network we implemented so far in India (21.000 WiMAX points).
For Africa, a wireless backhaul is essential and we’re ready to assist operators in understanding the transitions to 4G/WiMAX/LTE technologies. Our aim for next year is to develop nomadic WiMAX throughout the African region and the success will also rely in DSL replacements to make space for newer technologies. WiMAX will benefit operators as it offers a wider coverage, cheaper installation and download speed of up to 51Mb/s in an 8 km area, for example, making it viable in rural or remote areas too, where access to Internet is critical.
ITNewsAfrica.com: Any other plans for next year on the continent?
Patrick Martini: We want to further strengthen our security solutions and Africa is a great market in need of strong mobile, network and management security for public sectors and enterprises. IP-embedded security is our key focus for the region.