Industry News Page | Telecoms Chamber



After a couple of years of fairly modest activity, Facebook is now ramping up its public Wi-Fi connectivity program with renewed conviction and resolve: On February 25 the social media giant announced three new mobile operator partners as well as three new Wi-Fi technology partners. Facebook made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Despite the power of the brand and the company’s famously deep coffers, Facebook’s connectivity programs have thus far largely failed to move the needle when it comes to connecting more people to the Internet in emerging markets. All of that is now about to change as the company appears once again focused and intent on bringing public Wi-Fi to the masses.

This week Facebook announced three new mobile operator partners: Vodafone Ghana (already announced in Ghana and covered by Wi-Fi NOW here), CellC in South Africa, and Globe in the Philippines. No details on the size of the networks were released although information from Vodafone Ghana indicates a probable size of a couple hundred access points for starters.

Facebook also announced three new Wi-Fi technology partners: HPE/Aruba, Edgecore Networks, and – surprisingly – Nokia. Nokia has in recent years offered a carrier Wi-Fi line of products although the extent of their deployment is largely unknown. The three new vendors join existing Facebook Express approved vendors Cambium Networks, Ruckus Networks, and Arista (Mojo Networks).

Facebook also says that Cambium Networks will incorporate into their Wi-Fi solution Facebook’s ‘self organising mesh access’ (SOMA) technology, which Facebook says is a “self-healing mesh Wi-Fi technology that allows for greater self-configuration, reliability, and performance and reduces the need for operators to spend time manually configuring their networks.”

Earlier this week Cambium Networks announced it will be incorporating Facebook’s Terragraph (60 GHz unlicensed radio) technology into a their new 60 GHz product.

Visitors to Facebook’s meeting area at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona were able to try out the Facebook Express Wi-Fi service itself during the event. And Facebook has indeed made it simple to use: Access requires SMS verification but otherwise users need just few entries and taps to connect.

Source: Mobile World Live



MTN Ghana has been adjudged Employer of the Year at the second edition of the Ghana Human Resource Innovation Awards (GHRIA) held in Accra.

At the same event, MTN Ghana won:

Outstanding Employee Retention Policy
Excellence in Employee Engagement
HR Innovation of the Year
HR Team of the Year for the Private Sector (Gold)
In addition, the Human Resource Executive of MTN Mrs. Amma Benneh-Amponsah was adjudged the HR Personality of the Year and one of the top 20 Human Resource Practitioners in Ghana.

Receiving the awards, Mrs Amma Benneh-Amponsah said “The awards attest to our continued commitment and investment in our people. We are humbled by this recognition. We will continue to invest in our human capital and infrastructure to create a conducive environment that enable employees to deliver their best.” She dedicated the awards to the staff of MTN.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, the Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC), Dr Edward Kwapong, reiterated the importance of the HR practitioner to the socio-economic development of a nation. He said the wealth of a nation or an organization lies in the hands of its human resources and how well those resources are managed to the benefit of all.

“An event such as this to recognize the great works of professionals is a good catalyst and a motivator to make sure that our human resources are at par if not ahead of the changes in the human resource sector in the country”, Mr. Kwapong stressed.

Over the years, MTN has been recognized by several institutions both local and internationally for their unequalled commitment to high performance through exceptional people management. MTN is the first Corporate organization in Ghana to be awarded a Gold accreditation by Investors in People International, the international standard for people management. In 2018 alone, MTN Ghana won Investor in People Gold Employer of the year. The company also won HR Leader of the Year (Top 50 HR Practitioners) and Human Resources (HR) Team of the Year at the maiden edition of the Ghana Human Resources Awards.

The HR Executive of MTN Ghana, Amma Benneh-Amponsah, was awarded and recognized as an HR Change Maker at the HR Awards Ghana.

The GHRIA is an annual event that recognises leading Human Resource persons and organizations who have contributed significantly to the practice.

Source: Myjoyonline



Mobile Industry body, the GSMA, has kicked off Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona with a prediction that 5G will account for 15 per cent of all mobile connections by 2025.

5G is the major theme of this year’s event, with device makers, equipment manufacturers and other firms showcasing their wares at the Fira over the next four days.

5G networks have already gone live in the USA and South Korea, and the GSMA’s latest Mobile Economy report says 16 more markets will witness a launch in 2019. This includes the UK, where all four mobile operators have confirmed their initial rollout plans.

The GSMA believes the proportion of 5G connections will be as high as 30 per cent in Europe and China and close to 50 per cent in the US. 4G will also receive attention, increasing its share of global connections from 43 per cent last year to 60 percent within seven years.

Meanwhile, an additional 700 million new mobile subscriptions will be added by 2025 and 1.4 billion new mobile data users will come online during the same period. This will bring the total to more than five billion although a significant proportion is likely to be IoT-related.

Overall, it is predicted that mobile technologies and services will deliver $4.8 trillion of economic value by 2023 and that today, more than 32 million jobs are directly or indirectly supported by the industry.

“The arrival of 5G forms a major part of the world’s move towards an era of Intelligent Connectivity, which alongside developments in the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, is poised to be a key driver of economic growth over the coming years,” declared Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA.

“While 5G will transform businesses and provide an array of exciting new services, mobile technology is also helping to close the connectivity gap. We will connect more than a billion new people to the mobile internet over the next few years, spurring adoption of mobile-based tools and solutions in areas such as agriculture, education and healthcare, which will improve livelihoods of people around the world.”

Source: techradar



Samsung jumped the queue and arguably raised the bar as rival manufacturers get set to launch new gadgets at MWC19 Barcelona, unveiling a foldable device and four smartphones in its Galaxy S10 range.

The South Korean manufacturer, which unveiled the new line-up at events in London and San Francisco, opted to show its hand just a few days before the annual industry gathering in Barcelona kicks off.

There were four new devices shown-off at the event in the Galaxy S10 range: the Galaxy S10; a higher-spec Galaxy S10+; the lower-tier Galaxy S10e; and the Galaxy S10 5G.

Galaxy Fold
But, the headline grabber was what Samsung described as a revolution for the smartphone market, a new foldable device dubbed Galaxy Fold.

DJ Koh, president and CEO of Samsung’s IT and Mobile Communications division, said the device represented the company’s desire to “reinvent the smartphone from the ground up.”

The device was billed as both a smartphone and a tablet as its 4.6-inch screen folds out into a 7.3-inch display.

By switching between the smaller and larger screen, users can access three apps at once, with an App Continuity feature custom-built for the foldable design. Apps can open up on the smaller display, and users can pick up where they left off when opening up the device to access the larger screen.

The Fold’s specs are also at the high-end. It packs an HD+ Super AMOLED display, 12GB RAM and 512GB storage, and a six-camera system.

In a statement, Koh said: “Samsung is writing the next chapter in mobile innovation history by changing what’s possible in a smartphone.”

Owning the next chapter in mobile innovation will, however, not come cheap. Samsung priced the device at $1,980 in the US and €2,000 in Europe. It will be available in certain markets from 3 May.

The 5G era

[caption id="attachment_5365" align="alignnone" width="300"]GalaxyS10 range GalaxyS10 range[/caption]

Coming to the new Galaxy S10 range, the company highlighted the fact it was now a decade since the launch of its first Galaxy S device, as it touted the new lines’ beefed-up capabilities in display, camera and performance.

And, ten years on, the company was keen to talk up the Galaxy S10 5G device, which it said “charts the path for Galaxy for the next ten years”.

The S10 5G is the biggest of the new foursome, sporting a 6.7-inch curved display.

Samsung said the phone was designed bigger to enable consumers to take full advantage of 5G connectivity for streaming TV shows, gaming, and augmented- and virtual-reality experiences.

There is one storage option, at 256GB and 8GB RAM.

In terms of availability, the company said a number of operators, including Sprint, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, will carry the device when 5G launches later this year. A firm date or pricing was not revealed.

Screens, cameras, storage
The Galaxy S10e is the smallest of the four new devices, with a 5.8-inch full HD+ flat dynamic screen, while the Galaxy S10 sports a 6.1-inch, quad HD+ curved display.

Although offering higher specifications, the Galaxy S10+ is slightly smaller than the S10 5G at 6.4-inches. It also packs a curved display.

All four devices have been built with a “Dynamic AMOLED display”, as well as being the “first HDR10+” certified smartphones.

The devices’ screens also pack an “array of sensors and camera technology”, including an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanner “that reads the 3D contours of your physical thumbprint”, providing extra security.

When it comes to the camera, Samsung said it raised the bar with its new line-up, pointing to dual-pixel and dual-aperture firsts, along with enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

The Galaxy S10 line offers an ultra-wide lens with a 123-degree field of view, as well as an AI camera that it said makes smart features more accurate via a Neural Processing Unit (NPU).

Galaxy S10e packs a dual camera; the S10 and S10+ have triple cameras; and the S10 5G has a quadruple system.

The S10+ offers the biggest option in terms of storage, with 1TB and up to 12GB RAM. It also has a 128GB and a 512GB option. The S10 comes with 128GB or 512GB of storage and the S10e offers 128GB and 256GB (RAM is 8GB in both cases).

Another standout feature in the devices is the inclusion of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, enabling better performance and speed.

Galaxy S10e pricing starts at $749.99; the S10 at $899.99; and the S10+ begins at $999.99.

Along with the new smartphones, Samsung also launched new wireless headphones, Galaxy Buds, as well as two fitness-focused wearables, Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Fit.