Huawei targets remote rural areas in Kenya with new RuralLink solution

Rural and remote areas with poor mobile network reception will now be able to receive better signals following the launch of a new solution by telecommunications technology firm Huawei. Known as RuralLink, the new solution was first unveiled by Huawei at the Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022 (MBBF2022) in Bangkok Thailand this week.

Aaron Jiang, President of Huawei Wireless Product Line, noted the significance of RuralLink, pointing out that: “Rural areas have a huge demand for mobile communications. It is designed and built to help network operators bring mobile connectivity to rural areas and expand the benefits of digital connectivity to all.”

(TOP: Aaron Jiang, President of SingleRAN Product Line, showcases the RuralLink solution as it appears when complete).

In Kenya, despite progress over the years, nearly 48 per cent of the population remains unconnected to a mobile communications network and about 32 million Kenyans lack regular internet access. Huawei’s RuralLink solution uses unique innovative technologies such as solar panels, to solve the difficulties associated with communications. In the areas where fiber is difficult and costly to deploy, thanks to unique microwave fronthaul capabilities, RuralLink uses microwave to replace optical fibers, which reduces network construction costs and power consumption which are considered some of the most important costs for such projects.

Aaron added that RuralLink is suitable for projects such as humanitarian responses in areas facing natural disasters, mining and excavation as well as other geological works such as archeology.

Through site-level innovations, this solution enables green sites, site simplification, and easy evolution. This makes it possible for operators to build mobile networks that allow for positive business cycles in rural areas while connecting those who are still unconnected.

This way, the mobile Internet becomes more accessible to people and devices, signaling the arrival of a fully connected, intelligent world. In this context, equal access to mobile connectivity for all has become the cornerstone of economic growth.

By allowing a site to operate with just four to five solar panels, RuralLink is also easily adaptable to the areas that lack stable mains supplies. The solution features a simplified design that enables all devices to be mounted onto a pole, and its site deployment does not require fencing or concrete construction. As such, site construction is so easy in fact that it can be completed in just three days. RuralLink supports 2G to 5G services, laying the foundation for network experience upgrade.

While fulfilling the communication needs of the local people, the RuralLink site deployment also lays a solid foundation for the development of local e-commerce, tourism, and smart agriculture.

The Global Mobile Broadband Forum 2022 was hosted by Huawei, together with its industry partners GSMA and GTI. This annual forum gathers mobile network carriers, vertical industry leaders, and ecosystem partners from around the world to discuss how to make 5G a commercial success as well as other high-priority industry topics like green development, intelligence, and 5G evolution.


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