Huawei AirPON to Accelerate Fibre Broadband Connections in Africa.


The recent AfricaCom virtual technology event saw Huawei launch its innovative AirPON solution, which reuses existing wireless sites to build full-fibre access networks for operators quickly and at low cost.

Fibre broadband has come to be seen as an essential service, especially during the Covid-19 period, with strong demand for FTTH (Fibre to the Home) deployment in Africa countries. However, FTTH network construction faces huge challenges.

Traditionally, operators have had to deploy centralised office equipment rooms and lay out massive optical cables to reach users. This requires large-scale initial investment and the resolution of complex problems such as right-of-way (ROW) acquisition. As a result, network construction has always been time-consuming and expensive.

Huawei’s AirPON solution specifically addresses these challenges, providing cost-effective FTTH coverage.

“With the existing 300 000 base stations in Africa, the AirPON solution can be maximised to achieve low cost and fast coverage,” said Dean Yu, vice president, Huawei Southern Africa Region. “It reuses existing sites, optical fibre and power supplies and can achieve 10 million home fibre access connections. Huawei’s AirPON solution will help African fibre broadband connections grow, bridge the digital divide, and enable digital life in Africa.”

Presenting a suite of AirPON use cases, Charles Qiu, Huawei vice director of access network marketing & solution sales, cited major benefits in the full-service automatic grid division and in valuable area identification, optimal route selection, network planning and design, total-cost estimation and automatic calculation of optimal routes.

Sunil Piyarlall, technology lifecycle management executive at Openserve, said the challenge for operators was to roll out a quality network quickly while containing costs.

He said Openserve had tested the Huawei Quick ODN solution in its laboratories and carried out a field trial in Johannesburg. Tests found that the project was delivered 30% faster than conventional fibre reticulation.

“The pre-connectorised cables facilitated a smaller, lower-skilled workforce but still maintained an optical power budget within specification,” he said.

Franklin Kano Ocharo, head of home business for leading Kenyan mobile operator Safaricom, said Safaricom had been able to leverage mobile sites for fibre rollout and business development and was achieving a successful fixed-mobile convergence.

“The mobile sites are network operators’ greatest advantage for FTTH rollout, as they make it easier for mobile operator to begin FTTH business,” he said. “Through operating a mobile data network, the operator can already gain insights into customers’ data requirements and is better positioned to make the move to fibre to offer more bandwidth to support customers’ needs. Based on mobile data usage insights and market evaluation, we can better evaluate the uptake of FTTH in different areas.”

Of the construction aspect, he added that “as we face the challenge of heavy infrastructure development disrupting fibre service in Kenya, we mitigate the impact on customer service by densifying online terminals (OLTs) with Mini OLTs deployed in mobile sites closer to the customer. We took up Huawei as one of our key partners in this journey as we’re able to leverage on their dynamism and innovation in responding to different challenges that require unique systems to be built.”

Also speaking at the Home Broadband session at AfricaCom 2020, Dikah Sylvester, HOD of Fixed Network at Vodafone Ghana, expanded on the solution’s benefits.

“With AirPON, technology can reduce the FTTH deployment cost by 29%, compared with the traditional approach. If you go with the AirPON technology, you are going to save on cost and time. AirPON is the way to go for FTTH deployment.”

Following Huawei’s first release of the AirPON solution in London in February, 45 operators around the world have adopted it in network construction. The solution consists of Huawei’s OptiXaccess series Blade OLTs, Digital Quick ODN (DQ ODN), and OptiXstar series eAI ONTs. It reuses existing mobile sites to build full-fibre access networks and has the following benefits:

• Site acquisition: Outdoor blade OLTs can be installed on existing mobile poles or tower sites to share the wireless backhaul network for upstream transmission. Sites can be selected quickly and accurately, speeding up projects by up to three months.

• Fibre splicing: The DQ ODN network features digital management, pre-connection technology, and parallel construction without fibre splicing. Technicians can quickly master full-fibre access network installation and maintenance. Network construction is 70% more efficient and ODN sunk cost is 20% lower.

• Frame freezing: The eAI ONT intelligently identifies service types and uses Wi-Fi 6 slicing technology to provide dedicated channels for VIP services, such as online education and gaming. Operators can now monetise on user experience, earning an extra average revenue per user of US$10.

With the acceleration of the fixed-mobile convergence trend, fixed networks are the cornerstone of full-service operations. In the meanwhile, full-fibre access network construction is ramping up around the world.

In this context, Huawei continues to innovate in full-fibre access technologies and to deliver sustainable, evolvable solutions to help operators achieve business success.

UPDF Lauded for Evicting Balaalo Herdsmen from Amuru.

Courtesy Photo / PMLDAILY

Local leaders in Amuru District have lauded the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) for the forceful eviction of herdsmen commonly known as Balaalo who had pitched camp in a sugarcane plantation owned by Madhvani Group of Companies and government.

The Balaalo have for long been grazing their animals in the villages of Tee-okutu, Bombayi, Ndiir, and Orego in Kololo Parish, Lakanga Sub-county with an estimated 10,000 animals.

In 2017, a total of 205 households surrendered 10,000 hectares of land to Madhvani Group of Companies and government for Sugarcane growing and factory establishment.

Each hectare was compensated at a fee of Shs800,000. But before the land could be put to use, the Balaalo invaded the area in April last year.
The locals accuse them of leaving their animals to stray and destroy people’s houses.

Ms Cecelia Arach, the chairperson of the area land committee and a resident of Tee-okutu village, told Daily Monitor that the animals were a menace to the communities.

“Their eviction means a lot to us. Our plantation are now safe,’’ she said.
The chairperson of Amuru, Mr Michael Lakony, said: “We are glad that the eviction is now underway.  The Balaalo had also posed security threat to our communities. There are allegations that they graze their animals while armed with machetes.’’

The area MP, Mr Gilbert Olanya, said government’s move to evict the Balaalo is a good gesture towards the affected communities.

“One wonders how they keep getting back to Amuru. Three years ago, they were evicted, but they got their way back,’’ he said.

UPDF 4th Division spokesperson Maj Telesphor Turyamumanya said the eviction is going on well without any major resistance.

“Before the eviction started this month, we first engaged them in several meeting and they knew the time frame given to them to move the animals. Those who were still on the ground are being evicted,’’ he said.

Mr Amuru Federiko Tubangane, one of the Balaalo cattle keepers, said: “We only focus in grazing our animals that are a source of our livelihood. There is water and grass in this area (Amuru),’’ he said.

Other Sub-counties where the Balaalo have camped are Atiak and Pabbo all in Amuru District.

In 2017, President Museveni ordered the eviction of the Balaalo from the area. Their eviction followed complaints from locals who accused them of being a security threat.

In 2018, the eviction saw thousands of animals being loaded on trucks out of the region. In November last year, locals petitioned the Resident District Commissioner over the destruction of their farmlands by Balaalo animals. I – Daily Monitor

Huawei Cloud support driving Success for African E-Commerce Platform


JOHANNESBURG, November 2020 – Cloud and app store support play a critical role in ensuring the success of e-commerce platforms in Africa.

This was the view from Lulu Haangala Wood, co-founder and CMO of Afrishop, an e-commerce hub offering convenient, quality shopping and affordable logistics to the African market. She was speaking at the Huawei Cloud & AI Forum at the online AfricaCom 2020 event, part of the Africa Tech Festival from November 9-13.

Afrishop launched its offering supported by Huawei Cloud, providing convenient online shopping and affordable logistics and courier services. Afrishop’s aim is to create a more convenient and affordable delivery service for consumers looking for quality goods from China.

In its launch and development, Afrishop got support from Huawei Cloud infrastructure and Huawei AppGallery, the app store on Huawei smartphones.

“We are available on Android and Apple app stores, but our competitive advantage has been that we are available on the Huawei AppGallery on Huawei phones, which are widely used in Africa,” said Haangala Wood. “Having that partnership from Huawei to push our app in the app store really helped us, and we saw a big uptick in downloads.”

She said there had long been a need for a good supply-chain management system to African consumers. Afrishop set out to provide convenience and affordable last-mile delivery, right to the customer’s doorstep.

“We offer B2C and B2B services for customers who want to purchase individual pieces, as well as fulfilment of bulk orders,” said Haangala Wood.  “Our main services are online shopping and supply chain management, and our solution is faster, easier and more convenient than other platforms. Our customer has access through both our app and our website, because apps don’t have a big uptake in all African territories yet.”

Haangala Wood said Afrishop had seen 10 000 downloads in its first week and had continued to grow over the past nine months. The platform operates in Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, and Angola.

“Influencer marketing has been a huge part of our strategy, as well as offline marketing through traditional media, which remains relevant in the African market,” said Haangala Wood. “However, our core has been digital marketing. With our current app, distribution and listing in the Huawei app gallery comes at zero cost.

“We continue to improve our app and hope we can continue our great partnership with Huawei Cloud,” said Haangala Wood. “Covid-19 did hit us, but we are excited to see that more people are looking to e-commerce as their preferred shopping channel.”

The Huawei Cloud & AI Forum is an event regularly hosted by Huawei for the African ICT industry. The theme at this month’s event is “New Value Together”, with the aim to establish an open, cooperative platform for customers and partners to explore new opportunities for an intelligent future.

Pictorial: FDC Presidential Candidate Patrick Amuriat Booed and Arrested by Police in Gulu

POA under attack

Business came to a stand still with majority of shops closed as police fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse the crown that had come to welcome Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) President Patrick Amuriat.

It start all the way from Cerelenu and getting to the designated campaign ground was near to impossible. Pat Robert Larubi brings you a series of action at the frontline.


Foul Play Cited as Defilement Suspect Escapes from Police Custody in Gulu.


A defilement suspect on Sunday night escaped from police custody at Gulu Central Police Station.

Eric Olanya, aged 18 and a resident of Cubu A and C, Tegwana Parish in Laroo –Pece Division allegedly defiled a 10-year-old girl on November 3.

He was later arrested on 5th November, charged with Aggravated Defilement under Gulu CRB 1249/2020 and detained at Gulu Central Police Station where he escaped.

Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, says that police are still investigating the circumstances leading to the escape of the suspect from custody since he was the only one who escaped. He also added that the police are hunting for the suspect to bring him to book.

Okema also faulted the Directorate of Public Prosecution –DPP for delaying the process of arraigning the suspect in court by returning the file and advising police to re-examine the age of the suspect.

According to URN, Denise Ojwee, the father of the victim in an interview revealed that he suspects foul play by police in regards to the escape of the suspect. Ojwee adds that he is so heartbroken since justice may not be served accordingly.

Aggravated Defilement is a criminal act contrary to section 129 (3) and (40) (a) of the Penal Code Act.

Tito Returns to Haunt Uganda as South Sudan Gor Mahia Hammers Uganda in AFCON qualifier


Uganda Cranes suffered a set-back in the current TOTAL AFCON qualification campaign, losing 1-0 to South Sudan during a Group B duel at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi on Monday.

Gor Mahia club’s Tito Okello Odong, who was denied a chance to play for Uganda and switched to South Sudan in the past year, returned to haunt his country of birth when he scored a penalty in the 35th minute.

Two minutes before the goal came, Uganda Cranes had lost midfielder Khalid Aucho after red card.

Gallant efforts by Faruku Miya, Emmanuel Arnold Okwi and the entire team in typical fighting spirit to find the equalizer were frustrated by a mean South Sudan defence.

South Sudan were also reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes to play through Abdallah Musa for a second booking, but it was too late to undo the damage.

Uganda Cranes remain on seven points from four matches, South Sudan earned their first victory of the campaign and has three points.

In another Group B game, Burkina Faso held hosts Malawi to a goalless draw. Burkina Faso remain top of the group with 8 points, while Uganda Cranes have 7 points, Malawi have 4 and South Sudan 3.

Uganda now needs to pick four points from the remaining two games to qualify for AFCON. Uganda will next host table leaders Burkina Faso on March 22 next year, before facing Malawi away on March 30th.


Senegal became the first team to qualify for the 2022 AFCON after stopping hosts Guinea Bissau on Sunday night. Sadio Mane who also features for English giants Liverpool netted the lone goal.

In the other games played on Sunday Kenya lost 2-1 away to Comoros, while Burundi beat Mauritania 3-1 in Bujumbura. Chad held Guinea to a 1-1 draw, while Equatorial Guinea picked a 1-0 home win against Libya.

The AFCON competition was meant to take place in Cameroon in 2021, but was pushed further to 2022 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Team Line Up:

Uganda Cranes XI: Denis Onyango (18), Nicholas Wakiro Wadada (14), Disan Galiwango (4), Halid Lwaliwa (15), Timothy Denis Awany (03), Khalid Aucho (08), Karim Watambala (25), Faruku Miya (17), Allan Okello (20), Fahad Bayo (09), Kizito Luwagga (10)

Substitutes: Jamal Salim (19), Charles Lukwago (01), Paul Patrick Mbowa (24), Shafiq Kagimu (13), Edrisa Lubega (22), Brian Aheebwa (16), Mike Azira (23), Emmanuel Okwi (07), Derrick Paul Nsibambi (11), David Owori, Elvis Bwomono (06), Ronald Mukiibi Ddungu (12)



Pictorial: Lango Sub Region Welcomes Bobi Wine.


As Presidential candidates traverse the country for votes pressure is slowly mounting as supporters show love to their favorite candidates.

It is hard to blame the candidates neither their followers for flouting COVID19 rules in any case the campaigns have to go on.

Well we hooked up Robert Kyagulanyi through the lens in what he wrote shortly while taking a rest a head of radio program on radio Waa in Lira.

“This was KAMDINI, OYAM and APAC. I don’t know if LIRA can even fit on Facebook, but let me try” indeed he has posted a number of pictures with mammoth crowd to prove a point that NUP/People Power was no longer a Kampala based affairs.


Enjoy the sight

Kanyamunyu to Spend 5 years in Prison, Pleads Guilty for Man-slaughtering Akena


Mathew Kanyamunyu has been sentenced to prison for five years after pleading guilty for the manslaughter of social worker and child rights activist Kenneth Akena.

The sentencing that took place on the 11th November 2020 also saw his accomplice and girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari acquitted of all charges by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The Assistant DPP Magaret Nakigudde and the Chief State Attorney Jonathan Muwaganya communicated the new developments in this case and noted that it would be finally closed after the defendant admitted responsibility for the death of Akena.

Kanyamunyu was arrested in 2016 on suspicion of the murder of Akena after an altercation between the two left the latter fighting for his life.

Despite Akena’s dying declaration and the two bullets discovered in the body of the deceased implicated the two suspects, Kanyamunyu together with his girlfriend still maintained the alibi that they had taken the deceased to the hospital as good samaritans and thus pleaded not guilty, until recently.

In a sudden turn of events, in September this year, Kanyamunyu and his relatives approached the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) to broker a reconciliation in a traditional ritual known as Mato Oput ritual with the help of Dr. John Baptist Odama.

Although no one knows what could have driven the defendant to such desperate antics, it only served to implicate him even further; forfeiting him the legal representation of his then lawyers: Caleb Alaka, Evans Ochieng and Mc Dusman Kabega. The defendant further agreed to enter a plea bargain and pay 10 cows and goats to the deceased family in hopes that would bring him peace and possibly reduce his sentence.

Nonetheless his change of plea did little to help but prove his guilt and give the judicial system more fodder to implicate the suspects. After a long three years of debate and speculation, justice has finally been served and Mathew Kanyamunyu will have to pay for his crimes in a cellar for the next five years.

However, a number of Ugandans feel that the sentence was not justified especially given the fact that the prison term for manslaughter would be a ‘life sentence’ instead of the five years given to Kanyamunyu. #Eagle

Huawei Summits Reveals How Technology is Helping Reduce Inequality


The South African government is ramping up policies aimed at using digital technology to reduce inequality, create opportunities and reap the benefits of ICT for a post pandemic social and economic revival.

This was the message from Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Service Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams today. The minister was speaking at the Better Africa Summit at AfricaCom2020, the largest telco, media, and technology event in Africa, taking place online from November 9-12.

Ndabeni-Abrahams said President Ramaphosa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) commission has already made several key recommendations that have been approved by Cabinet. These include a commitment to invest in human capital, the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Institute, setting up a platform for advanced manufacturing and new materials and supporting data security data to enable innovation.

The minister congratulated Summit organisers Huawei for the event, which came “when people everywhere are positioning themselves to play a meaningful role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)”.

“Technology can address the most challenging development problems faced by South Africa and the rest of the continent,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams. “By supporting SMMEs to develop technology that will optimise the delivery of services in sectors such as health, education and transport, we can simultaneously enhance the wellbeing of our citizens and become globally competitive.”

Ndabeni Abrahams said COVID-19 had confirmed the government’s belief in data as a catalyst for digital transformation and economic growth through digital technologies and innovations.

She said this had informed the government’s new Data and Cloud Policy, which aimed to improve citizens access to data and to encourage a new thinking about the world of work.

Echoing the Minister’s sentiment, Leo Chen, Huawei President for Sub Saharan Africa Region, pointed to the pandemic triggering a long-term shift in people’s behaviour to stay online.

“We recently saw new demands for work-from-home, online shopping and home schooling emerge, with data traffic soaring over 40% and digital services booming across the Sub Saharan Africa region. We are grateful to see that African governments have responded quickly to the crisis by enhancing the role of ICT in the fight and recovery, whether through releasing temporary spectrum or policy recommendations, said Chen

Also speaking at AfricaCom, Sharoda Rapeti, a non-executive partner at Delta Partners consulting firm, said telcos could be “growth accelerators” in building a resilient post-pandemic economy through infrastructure sharing models and increased investment.

Presenting the results of a pandemic survey, Rapeti noted there had been a surge in connectivity at regional level in Africa and signs of pent-up demand for Cloud-based solutions.

“Around 58% of African leaders surveyed saw the pandemic as an industry accelerator,” said Rapeti “These findings point to good prospects for the telco sector in Africa, as long as we take the right approach to investment and partnerships and we implement large-scale connectivity infrastructure at the right pace.”

ATU Secretary General John Omo told the conference that the ICT industry was growing into a new global economic growth engine.

“Solving the digital inequality gap must be our common goal to enable those with connectivity, digital tools and skills, and those without access to the digital world, to meet at a central point,” said Omo.

Omo called for policies and regulation that encourage investment in network deployment and passive infrastructure sharing among operators. He also called for simplified regulatory processes and timely assignment of spectrum for new and evolving technology according to industry protocols.

He said governments, institutions and ICT organisations needed to equip workforces with the latest ICT skills so that they could stay competitive in a fast-expanding digital economy. He also called for ongoing institutional support for innovation, as in ATU’s recent partnership with Huawei on the ATU Africa Innovation Challenge 2020

“Collaboration amongst stakeholders is the path we must take to develop Africa and reinforce the ICT contribution to the well-being of our people,” he said.

Roselyn Najjuma Thabit Appointed Head, Transactional Banking – Standard Chartered Bank, Uganda

Roselyn Najjuma Thabit
Roselyn Najjuma Thabit

Who is Roselyn? Northernews Wire shares her brief profile write up.

Roselyn holds an Executive MBA from Warwick Business School (U.K), a Master’s degree in Computer Science (Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Physics from Makerere University in Uganda.

She brings on board a wealth of experience and expertise in the financial services industry with regional expertise gained over a career spanning 15 years.

She previously worked at Stanbic bank Uganda for 6 years having joined them as the Head, Products in 2014 overseeing the Lending, Liabilities, Card, Bancassurance and Vehicle and Asset Finance solutions for Personal and Business banking.

She was later appointed the Head Customer Journeys tasked with leading the Stanbic’s innovation and digitisation agenda in 2018.

Roselyn started her banking career with Barclays Bank Uganda in 2004 where she served in several capacities including IT projects manager, Head MIS and Analytics for Retail Credit, Product Manager for Lending, and Bancassurance. She later served as a Product Manager for Lending and Islamic banking solution in Barclays Kenya.

She serves on the Uganda Bankers Association Digital Financial Services committee as the Secretary General – a workstream aimed at driving the digitization of payments and collections in Uganda to drive Financial Inclusion.

Outside work, Roselyn loves cooking, art and is a fervent music lover.