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LTE Africa Conference to Discuss Vision of Continent's Mobile Future

October 19, 2015

Paired with AfricaCom, one of the largest telecom expos in Africa, the third annual LTE Africa expo will soon take place in Cape Town. Last year, it saw more than 50 percent of attendees as representatives of operators, so this year it hopes to capitalize on those numbers to expand the vision for what Africa’s future of LTE coverage can be.

It is clear from a recent expo announcement that industry leaders are poised to expand in Africa even further than they already have. With the industry expectating that 50 percent of the continent’s population will have access to LTE by 2018, there is room for growth, but officials will need to collaborate and make a plan that helps each other expand.

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Expo officials believe that the upcoming event will give those officials time to share information about their plans to further mobilize the population. These plans will likely include expansion of the base network and inclusion of services such as voice-over-LTE, which could represent a major technological step forward for the continent as a whole.

Other sections of the expo will see software-defined networking, usage and deployment of multiple styles of mobile devices, network optimization, and proper use of backhaul as topics for discussion. And those are only a few of the scheduled presentations and debates on the schedule. Individual operators will likely have more to say about the intricacies of those network elements and other topics which did not meet the formal schedule.

Most of all, LTE Africa indicates that operators will have a key interest in promoting consumer adoption of LTE services. Even with an infrastructure in place, of course, it must remain easily accessible and cost effective, or the population will not have the desire or means to use it. Therefore, operators are likely to discuss how they can leverage the technologies mentioned above in order to speed adoption.

In particular, operators can use software-defined networking to increase their speed of delivering services. It could also help reduce costs, once the market has stabilized and sees widespread global usage. At least one presentation at the LTE Africa conference will see that very topic spoken outright to all interested attendees. And make no bones about it, there will be a number of people, operators and otherwise, who will have a strong interest in that topic and others to get a picture of the future of the country.

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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