Chinese Firm Helps Kenya’s Mobile Firm to Connect Homes
China's Huawei announced Thursday it's working with Kenya's largest mobile phone operator Safaricom to deploy a fibre to the home (FTTH) network which will connect customers at their residential homes.
Huawei said in a statement that Safaricom has adopted Huawei's end-to-end (E2E) FTTH solution to rapidly deploy the FTTH network and expand its capability to new home broadband services.
"Emerging markets place strong demands on FTTH network services. The top challenge that operators face is shortening the return on investments (ROI) period," said Jeff Wang, President of Huawei's Access Network Product Line.
"To solve this challenge, Huawei released the E2E FTTH solution which features precise investment, fast network construction, quick service provisioning, and efficient O&M, enabling operators to greatly shorten the ROI period and achieve business success," Wang said.
Kenya has a steadily developing economy, but its fixed broadband penetration rate is lower than 1 percent, failing to meet the network requirements of home and enterprise users.
Safaricom plans to enter the home broadband market. However, it faces many challenges, including scattered user distribution, high network construction costs, and low early phase service provisioning rates and revenues.
For fast network construction, Safaricom uses existing metropolitan area network optical cables and aerial cables.
Through the synergy of fixed broadband optical distribution networks (ODNs) and mobile backhaul networks, Safaricom can deploy mini optical line terminals and wireless base stations in the same cabinet, realizing fast deployment and centralized home access, and greatly decreasing network construction costs, Huawei said.
Huawei's lightweight mini operations support system (OSS) helps Safaricom to reduce the system integration period and complete deployment within only three months, down from 18 months.
Huawei also provides a smartphone app that integrates installation, maintenance and operations and supports on-site service provisioning and acceptance. This shortens the service provisioning period from two weeks to less than 48 hours, according to the vendor.
"By using Huawei's E2E FTTH solution, we can quickly build the FTTH network. We are keen to broaden the development space for new fixed broadband services," said Thibuad Rerolle, Safaricom's Director.