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Communications for All

More than 87% of the world's population is within reach of a mobile phone signal, but what about the other 13%? These people usually live in remote, less-developed areas. The technical difficulties of building and powering networks in these remote areas only increase the already high per capita cost of building networks to reach these people.

Considering geographical locations and economic situations, often the most appropriate solution is to provide a mobile network which can cost-effectively reach wide areas. In general, mobile networks run on spectrum from 700 MHz up to 2.5 GHz. Those operating at lower frequencies are able to reach further, but offer lower data speeds and are able to handle fewer simultaneous connections. Therefore, a 2G (or 2.5G) network running on lower frequencies is often the most economical approach to providing the unconnected with communications services for the first time, as well as low-speed access to the Internet. These 2G (or 2.5G) networks can reach low-density populations across wide areas at lower access costs.

Huawei is working with our customers to install 2G networks in some of the remotest and poorest parts of the world, often powered entirely or partly by solar power. Our innovations have helped customers reduce their CAPEX and OPEX. We intentionally build these networks with our customers so that they can be upgraded with minor hardware and software tweaks at a later date to bring faster broadband speeds as local circumstances (including the availability of spectrum resources) change. In 2015, we built many 2G and 2.5G networks in the remote areas of many countries, including India, Ghana, Azerbaijan, and Jordan, allowing more local people to enjoy the convenience of mobile communications.

Connecting Rural Zambia

The mobile penetration rate is low in Zambia's remote areas. According to ITU, over 25% of Zambians are unable to access the Internet on their mobile phones. The Zambian people have a strong desire for mobile connectivity. They want to be able to promptly connect with their family and relatives, receive holiday greetings via calls or text messages, and reach distant buyers to sell their agricultural products via mobile phones.

Since 2013, Huawei has worked with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority and local carriers to implement the Universal Access Project, an initiative designed to deliver network coverage to remote areas. As one of the most important welfare programs launched by the Zambian government, the Universal Access Project is aimed at deploying base stations in remote regions, which in turn can stimulate local economic growth, promote cultural development, and bridge the digital divide.

In 2014, Huawei successfully installed 169 base stations in remote areas of all 10 provinces in Zambia. These base stations connected over 500 villages for the first time and allowed tens of thousands of people to reach the outside world using their mobile phones. Huawei also donated 100 mobile phones to local villagers so that they could instantly enjoy convenient mobile services.

Zambian Vice President Dr. Guy Scott made the first call from the first tower delivered by the project at Matanda in Luapula Province. He urged women and young people in particular to seize the opportunities created by mobile communications to get involved in business.


Zambian Vice President making the first phone call

"Through our dedicated effort and commitment to the Zambian market, we endeavor to work with local partners towards improved network quality, affordable rates, and more value-added services for the benefit of the people of Zambia."

——Huawei Zambia managing director

In addition to deploying communications networks, Huawei employed local people to construct the base stations, creating job opportunities and increasing their income. Through this, Huawei has contributed to local economic growth.

Huawei Connects 8 Million People of the "Mountain Kingdom" with the Rest of the World

Nepal is located among the Himalayas. It is called the "Mountain Kingdom", with many mountains standing over 6,000 meters above sea level. There are 14 mountains in the world which stand over 8,000 meters, and 8 of them can be found in the Himalayas. Nepal is rich in hydroelectricity, accounting for 2.3% of the world's total. The available hydroelectricity ready to be exploited is estimated to be 27 million kilowatts.

The Mountain Kingdom

Nepal is located among the Himalayas. It is called the "Mountain Kingdom", with many mountains standing over 6,000 meters above sea level. There are 14 mountains in the world which stand over 8,000 meters, and 8 of them can be found in the Himalayas. Nepal is rich in hydroelectricity, accounting for 2.3% of the world's total. The available hydroelectricity ready to be exploited is estimated to be 27 million kilowatts.

Highly remote

Nepal is still a developing country. The transport infrastructure in the mountainous regions of the country is quite undeveloped, with residents relying mainly on humans, cattle haulers, and even helicopters for transporting goods. Power shortages had been plaguing the country for many years, with some remote regions often experiencing power outages of 16 hours each day during the winter. These problems made the deployment of base stations difficult, time-consuming, and extremely costly. As a result, local carriers could not provide network coverage nationwide and many Nepalese could not enjoy communication with the outside world through telephone or any other means.

Huawei helps to deploy integrated base stations

After gaining a deep understanding of the conditions in Nepal, Huawei helped local carriers deploy integrated base stations in rural areas using the Huawei SingleSite solution. The deployment of energy-efficient outdoor base stations powered by solar energy significantly helped carriers lower their site construction costs, effectively reduce the dependency of base stations on electric power, and quickly achieve signal coverage in the relevant areas.

The benefits of being connected

Advancements in communications also have boosted the country's tourism industry. For the first time, people in mountainous areas can make calls as well as send and receive text messages anytime they choose. This not only facilitates communications with the outside world, it also enhances the safety of tourists. As a result, more and more tourists are attracted to this country. In addition, the global information exchange has improved the investment environment in Nepal and accelerated Nepal's economic development pace.


The Huawei SingleSite solution makes communications convenient for Nepalese in mountainous areas

The Mountain Kingdom can connect to the World

By the end of 2013, Huawei rolled out 2G networks in mid-west, western, and far west Nepal, the country's three remote mountainous areas, and began using 2G+3G solutions to replace equipment in the central and eastern Nepal, providing coverage for over 8 million people. Convenient communications have made the lives of the Nepalese much easier and given them access to full connectivity. The charm of the “Mountain Kingdom” has now gone global.