Deploying network facilities across Africa, can be a costly and lengthy exercise. However, with its world’s first ALL G software-enabled Open network solution, Parallel Wireless, Inc. is helping global mobile network operators (MNOs) ‘connect the unconnected’ by making ALL G network deployments as easy and as cost-effective as Wi-Fi. As a result, it has been welcomed across the African continent with several deployments and pending trials in 12 countries (to date), which are assisting in Africa’s rapidly advancing connectivity.
“Africa is the most digitally divided continent with only 44% unique mobile users,” said Lux Maharaj, Director of Sales for Parallel Wireless, Southern Africa. “To bridge the digital divide, people need access to technology, but it is a commercial dilemma for the regional MNOs given the deployment cost. Traditional 2G, 3G or 4G networks require expensive and bulky equipment for their deployment and operation. These hardware-based networks are difficult and pricey to upgrade.”
Parallel Wireless enables a shift to open, software-based, and virtualized network architectures to overcome these deployment challenges, while also delivering network agility and much lower deployment cost. The solution is attractive to African MNOs because of easy upgradability to any G, allowing operators to keep building 2G networks in areas untouched by telecom networks, while at the same time continuing to allocate resources and time to expand their 3G or 4G networks with the same investment.
Since its introduction to the African market in 2017, the Parallel Wireless solution has undergone trials and deployments with multiple African operators in 8 countries (Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, Somalia, Sudan, Senegal), and has forthcoming trials and deployments in Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Kenya, Angola, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, and Tanzania, including:
· As presented at TIP Summit, MTN is planning to deploy equipment based on Facebook’s Open RAN TIP specifications, including the Parallel Wireless solution, as it believes it to be more cost-effective than traditional communications networking technology for bringing coverage to rural and ultra-rural locations.
· Parallel Wireless is engaged with iEngineering Group, a leading end-to-end engineering infrastructure solutions provider to the telecommunications and power industries across Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia with operations in 18 countries. The Parallel Wireless ALL G Open RAN software-enabled solution has been selected to bring coverage in Africa because it can be easily upgraded from 2G to 3G or 4G with a simple software upgrade, hence future-proofing the initial network investment.
· Telesol is deploying Parallel Wireless to connect citizens and businesses in Ghana with 4G wireless services. Parallel Wireless’ unique low-cost, low-footprint and virtualized multi-technology solution is easy and affordable to install, maintain, and upgrade to any future technology without any additional hardware.
· In Uganda Intelsat used Parallel Wireless to bring 3G coverage. The solution was fast and easy to install. Godfrey Mutabazi, Executive Director of the Uganda Communications Commission, stressed that extending broadband connectivity and delivering fast, affordable Internet services to everyone in Uganda remains one of the Uganda government’s primary missions.
Reliable and affordable broadband is crucial for the growth of the African economy. It leads to a more inclusive society, enhances collaboration, and opens a plethora of global opportunities for citizens and local businesses.