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An enterprising look at LTE

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On Tuesday 25 June global ICT solutions provider Huawei Technologies South Africa signalled its intention to compete more aggressively in Africa’s growing wireless and telecommunications space with a first-of-its-kind Africa launch of eLTE, a multi-service platform offering broadband data, Push-to-Talk, Push-to-Video, trunking and voice services for railways, aviation and port organisations.

Huawei South Africa President Eman Liu. (Image source: Chris Tredger)

In March this year The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) contracted Huawei for the supply of a digital radio communications system, the Global System for Mobile Communication – Railway (GSM-R), incorporating eLTE technology.

The system incorporates advanced PMR functions enable security enhancements, emergency/rescue communication, coverage extension, coordination of operational teams to efficiently exchange vital operational information.

Huawei’s eLTE solution supports voice, video uploading and video distribution capabilities of up to 100Mbps, enabling broadband video upload features which broadcasts live real-time screens to command & control centres, thereby improving scheduling efficiency and allows for faster emergency response times, in cases of emergency.

The company describes eLTE as a versatile scalable solution which plays an important role in many industries, government authorities and enterprises, irrespective of size and location.

ITNewsAfrica spoke with Huawei South Africa President Eman Liu about the offering and its significance to the Africa market.

Why is eLTE significant for the Africa market?

In terms of eLTE Huawei is the first company to provide a commercial network. We have already deployed 18 commercial networks for the enterprise across various industries, including transport and public sector. For the carrier, we have also deployed 88 commercial LTE networks globally. As a member of the global LTE standards organisation, we have a number of patents in LTE technology.

What is your go-to-market strategy?

We have a different business model for the enterprise compared to that of the carrier market. Prior to the year 2011, we sold solutions and equipment directly to telecommunication companies. However, the new business model for enterprises means that we for every deal we partner with a local or global partner, we do not sell to the customer directly. For example, for the Prasa deal, we partnered with Altech Technology. We provided equipment and the solution and Altech provided local services to jointly provide an end-to-end solution.

The enterprise market in South Africa is 400 000 companies, inclusive of both small and large companies. This is a large base of businesses.

In SA We have two main distributors and seven value-added partners, in addition to almost 100 tier 2 partners.

Will you change the model to suit various regions in Africa? 

No, we apply the same model to all regions. The difference is that we align ourselves with different local partners.

What is the strategy in terms of the rollout of eLTE to other parts of Africa?

Because eLTE is a new technology, we are busy with Proof of Concept, necessary for the industries that we are engaged with. Then we will delivery. In our view South Africa is in a leadership position for Africa … we do have an expansion plan for other markets in Africa.

eLTE is a versatile platform that can be applied in different industries. Wireless is an ideal solution for delivery across Africa. In terms of eLTE is deployed, in the oil industry in Norway and in security in China. Locally, in terms of deployment, we see it as a vital tool for any enterprise that needs mobility, security and collaboration.

With eLTE its all about increase – you increase your services, your coverage and applications on that platform.

How do you feel about your election as President?

I am excited. There are many challenges in the market, but I have every confidence in my team going forward.

Chris Tredger, Online Editor

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