Kenya's Safaricom, the African nation's leading network operator, said it's working with Huawei to deploy a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Safaricom will use the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer's end-to-end (E2E) FTTH solution to rapidly deploy the FTTH network and expand its capability to new home broadband services.
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, but it faces many challenges, including scattered user distribution, high network construction costs, and low early phase service provisioning rates and revenues.
For precise investment, based on the idea of value-oriented network construction, Safaricom uses analytics to determine network rollout in line with customer demand as its first step. And then, Safaricom deploys Huawei's E2E FTTH solution to achieve efficient network construction and operation.
For fast network construction, through infrastructure synergy and engineering innovation, Safaricom can fully utilize existing metropolitan area network (MAN) optical cables and preferentially use aerial cables.
Through the synergy of fixed broadband optical distribution networks (ODNs) and mobile backhaul networks, Safaricom can deploy mini optical line terminals (OLTs) and wireless base stations in the same cabinet, realizing fast deployment and centralized home access, and greatly decreasing network construction costs.
In terms of efficient operation, 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, supporting on-site service provisioning and acceptance, shortening service provisioning period from two weeks to less than 48 hours, and doubling installation rates.
"By using Huawei's E2E FTTH solution, we can quickly build the FTTH network," said Thibuad Rerolle, Safaricom's Director. “We are keen to broaden the development space for new fixed broadband services."
Jeff Wang, President of Huawei's Access Network Product Line, added, "Emerging markets place strong demands on FTTH network services. The top challenge that operators face is shortening the ROI period. To solve this challenge, Huawei released the E2E FTTH solution. It 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."
South Africa's Vodacom Group, part of Vodafone, recently announced that its proposed R35 billion (around US$2.6 billion) acquisition of an effective 35 percent stake in Safaricom, has been finalized. All regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in both Kenya and South Africa have now been met.