No one can deny the fact that there are challenges to Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and 4G technology application and rollout in Africa – but there are clear opportunities to be realised, particularly if all stakeholders can work together.
This was the key message to emerge from the latest- and successful Innovation Dinner Series, hosted by IT News Africa and sponsored by NetApp and MTN SA, held recently at the Michelangelo Hotel and Towers, Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa.
The event drew several keynote speakers, including: Dr. Stephen Sipho Mncube, Chairperson of The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), William Hearmon, Chairman of the African Broadband Forum; Brian Arendse, Strategic Program Director: Broadband for All, RSSA, Ericsson, and Chantel Lindeman, Business Unit Leader – ICT Africa at Frost & Sullivan.
Speakers engaged the audience over the relevance of LTE across Africa, the realities of this market, the state of broadband penetration across the continent, last mile connectivity and what the advantages of rollout could be.
Issues like contention on connectivity lines and cost of broadband were discussed.
Delegates were also treated to a Q & A session, via Skype, with Zimbabwe’s MDC Minister of Communications and Technology, Nelson Chamisa.
Minister Chamisa confirmed that the country is busy with economic and political reform and is ready for investors.
“The climate is conducive to investment. We are focusing on connectivity, on establishing a legislative environment that encourages growth and investment, there are more opportunities. We also have powerful HR, with wonderful people,” said the Minister.
The audience was also captivated by Dr. Mncube who reiterated ICASA’s position on LTE and related technology, saying that the organisation was in the process of working on policy formulation and was working closely with industry towards the realisation of objectives including universal service.
Abby Wakama, Executive Editor and Publisher at IT News Africa, said feedback from delegates has been very positive.
“Speakers were great and a broad range of issues were covered in the topics”
“Venue was excellent, there was good food and the event was well organised.”
“The concept of the event is good, controversial issues were discussed.”
The next Innovation Dinner for South Africa will be held on 26th September at the Michelangelo Hotel and Towers and will cover the theme ‘Broadband Pricing’. For more information and registration, click through to https://www.itnewsafrica.com/innovationdinner/attend.htm
Chris Tredger, Online Editor