E-Networks launches 5G VoLTE mobile network in Guyana

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NTT opens new data centre in Johannesburg

Leading IT infrastructure and services company NTT has announced the opening of its latest data centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Johannesburg 1 Data Centre is described as being part of NTT’s expansion into the African continent. It has a capacity of 12MW covering 6,000 square metres of IT space once fully built out. The technical infrastructure is supported by N+1 uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS), N+1 generator backup, and highly redundant cooling systems. This will provide clients with dedicated sustainable infrastructure, operational control and the design flexibility required to support their high-performance needs.

The facility will cater to hyperscalers and enterprises, providing them with an opportunity to use NTT’s full ICT stack of services, including managed hybrid cloud, network management, collaboration, security and application monitoring.

The new facility uses a closed-loop chilled water system with air-cooled chillers, meaning that the water running through the cooling systems isn’t evaporated. This reduces the threat of potential drought water restrictions and allows the data centre to achieve good levels of power usage effectiveness (PUE) and water usage effectiveness (WUE).

NTT points out that Africa is experiencing a digital boom, with a population expected to double by 2050. Estimates show that 615 million users in sub-Saharan Africa will subscribe to mobile services by 2025, a 24% increase from 2020. This growth and reliance on technology is, says NTT, fuelling digital transformation initiatives and demand for high-performing data centre space.

NTT is planning to accelerate its data centre footprint in Johannesburg and other African cities to support this growth over the next several years.

NTT’s recent data centre openings in developing markets include Jakarta and Navi Mumbai, with further expansions planned in Ho Chi Minh City and Cyberjaya. The data centres will align with NTT’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions across its data centre operations by 2030 and the complete value chain by 2040.

NTT is focused on ensuring its portfolio is powered by renewable energy by 2030 and that it applies energy efficiency measures where required.


Going beyond connectivity: A Total Telecom Congress keynote teaser

With traditional revenue streams failing to deliver substantial growth, telcos must leverage their networks to find new opportunities beyond their normal scope – but where does the hunt begin?

In this age of 5G and gigabit fibre, the dynamics of the telecoms industry are rapidly evolving. New technologies are offering new opportunities, enabling use cases and business models that were unthinkable just a few short years ago. From the rise of private networks, allowing telcos to offer bespoke solutions to enterprises and industries, to the emerging field of extended reality, there are no shortage of new revenue streams for telcos to maximise.

But as the opportunities for telcos increase, so too does their competition. Hyperscalers, cloud players, software specialists, hardware vendors – all of these and more are moving circumvent the telcos, increasingly offering their own solutions directly to enterprise customers.

So, how can telcos differentiate themselves and bring customers more meaningful, personalised services? Ultimately, how can they go beyond simple connectivity to better engage their partners and customers?

On the morning of Day 2 of Total Telecom Congress, the opening keynote panel session will discuss these fascinating topics, exploring the lessons from the industry’s successes so far and what must be done to ensure success in the future.

“The session will be incredibly valuable to attendees because it’s about what we need to do now in practice to be successful in 2023 and beyond. And it is not just ‘more of the same’”, explained Andrew Collinson, Executive Director & Chief Research Officer of STL Partners and moderator of the upcoming session.

“This is a critical time for the industry. Customers face urgent challenges in the global economy, in security and sustainability. Telecoms can take key roles beyond connectivity in addressing these challenges, and others too – but it is a choice. My view is that if they don’t choose to do more, they will become increasingly marginalised as the industry becomes increasingly modular and cloudified, and other players will do more of the things that customers value. And the world will be a worse place for it, too.

I am excited about finding out from the presenters (and attendees) what key steps we need to take now – and what lessons they’ve learned that helped them succeed.”

(Left to Right) Andrew Collinson, STL Partners; Henri Korpi, Elisa; Willem Brinkert, RegioHELP, Shaima Alhamed, BNET Bahrain Network; Antonio Ivankovic, GO Plc


Willem Brinkert, Co-Founder, RegioHELP

Henri Korpi, EVP International Digital Services, Elisa

Shaima Alhamed, Chief Commercial Officer, BNET Bahrain Network

Antonio Ivankovic, Chief Commercial Officer, GO Plc

Total Telecom Congress will take place in the Business Design Centre, London, on the 1st–2nd November. Check out the agenda and book your place today.

Don’t Forget About Voice


As Service Providers, it is important to complete your portfolios and keep them stacked with the latest technology. Now that most individuals are working remotely or are embracing a hybrid lifestyle, the desire for the best technologies is stronger than ever. People are looking for the clearest camera, the best headsets, and the most feature-rich applications to tie it all together. But many forget one thing: voice. 

Telephony has been around for decades! Everyone knows how to place and make a phone call, and despite the surge in video conferencing technology, many still struggle with joining virtual meetings. Voice calls have many benefits over other forms like texting or video chat. Benefits like: 

  • Faster to Convey Information
  • More Natural and Comfortable
  • Easier to Detect Tone 
  • Less Room for Error

The world is quickly becoming more digital, but phone communication remains crucial in enterprise operations. Both external and internal, proper voice communication is not declining, but actually increasing! When you examine your current offering, ensure voice solutions are both available and strong. What do we mean by that? Keep reading to learn three things that your telephony solution should have. 

1. A Proper Virtualization Platform

Let’s explore your virtualization platform, starting at the base of your solutions. When you build a house, you should not skip over the foundation. Therefore, don’t skip over your virtual foundation when you create your enterprise. The prioritization of voice starts at the beginning, which means hosting your telephony and unified communications solutions on a virtualization platform dedicated to hosting voice in the cloud. 

Did you know that Bicom Systems is the original software manufacturer of SERVERware? And SERVERware is the only virtualization platform tailored to hosting telephony and unified communications in the cloud! Reach out to our sales team to learn more.

2. Opus Codec

VoIPs best friend! Opus Codec is relatively new in the telecommunications industry. Although, this feature has been on Bicom Systems PBXware and gloCOM since version 5.2. Desk phones communicate with different codecs, and Opus is an audio codec for phones. Opus Codec can handle a wide range of audio applications like VoIP and video conferencing.

Opus Codec is extremely smart and adaptive to your internet’s capabilities. Even on your mobile device, it will adjust based on the network, service range, and other factors affecting the connection. It gives you the best possible outcome for what you are capable of! 

This automatic adjustment often goes unnoticed or is taken for granted. However, not all providers offer this feature. Ensure you partner with someone who offers Opus Codec to give your customers the best reliable solution. 

3. Echo Cancellation

There are many headsets on the market that offer echo and noise cancellation. However, the softphone software must be equipped with this feature as well. To enhance voice quality, your softphones should have echo cancellation no matter what headset you use. 

Ensure your next call is crisp and clear without echo, background noise, or audible dog barks! 

In Conclusion

Voice disruptions are not ideal in any scenario and can be detrimental if a call drops during a negotiation. When you partner with a UC provider, ensure you don’t get distracted by the shiny features. Voice quality is more important than your customers. 

Bicom Systems’ communication solution is a software suite that offers everything your company needs to communicate, collaborate and connect. The software suite is equipped with all the points mentioned above and more. Learn about our products on our website or by connecting with our sales representatives. 

Let’s Connect.

📞 +1 (647) 313 1515
📧 sales@bicomsystems.com
💻 www.bicomsystems.com/contact-us    

Thai operators hail 5G progress

Thai operators AIS and True hailed their efforts and government initiatives to create an ecosystem that supports 5G, which has accelerated the companies to prep for the next stages of the technology such as network slicing and healthcare solutions.

Speaking at Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in Bangkok, AIS head of Mobile and Consumer Products Saran Phaloprakarn (pictured) explained 5G devices were expensive when 5G first launched in the country with the iPhone 12 being the only choice.

Now, more sub-US$200 have been launched from manufacturers such as Samsung and Xiaomi enabling consumers to connect at a mass scale.

The company has also subsidised devices through its device contracts to sell smartphones for as much as US$30 per month which has spurred the ecosystem of 5G devices in Thailand, he claimed.

The next steps for the advancement of 5G in Thailand will be tapping into network slicing and low latency, a move that will be enabled when mmWave spectrum is deployed when handsets to support them are launched next year.

“What we need is the deployment of the millimetre wave spectrum. That depends greatly on the availability of handsets [in the market]. Today millimetre wave-enabled handsets are only available in the US.

“We hope that this year or next year there will be millimetre wave devices and that ecosystem of devices is ready for us so that we can deploy the enhanced mobile broadband and unleash the potential of 5G,” said Phaloprakarn.

Meanwhile rival True tipped it will reach 10 million 5G subscribers by the end of this year with 85% coverage. True co-group chief growth officer Tanaphon Manavutiveth compared this figure to the global rate of 5G coverage which is 30%.

Manavutiveth pointed out Thailand is a leading adopter of 5G in the ASEAN region with a rate of 9.2%, behind only the leading nation Singapore which has a rate of 13.9%. He also noted shipments of 5G devices for the operator grew from 5% last year and is on track to triple to 15% this year, this is supported by its retail partners 7-Eleven, Lotus and Metro to name a few totalling around 15,000 sales points.

The executive ended his speech on the need for more collaborations to find more use cases such as healthcare, to propel 5G as the next-generation technology it promises to be.  

True is developing autonomous vehicles among many solutions for Thailand’s most prestigious hospital Siriraj, which is tipped to be one of the first smart hospitals in the ASEAN. 


Vodafone announces flurry of Open RAN partnerships


The international operator group has previously announced that it aims to see 30% of its European mobile sites equipped with Open RAN equipment by 2030

This week, Vodafone has announced its latest string of Open RAN partners, further demonstrating the operator’s commitment to Open RAN network architecture.

First and foremost among these announcements is a partnership with Nokia, aiming to create a fully compliant Open RAN solution leveraging Nokia’s ReefShark system on a chip (SoC). The duo say they will create an Open RAN baseband system that can deliver services on par with traditional mobile RAN infrastructure, with live demonstrations using third-party COTS servers to take place early next year.

Nokia’s ReefShark technology is co-developed with Marvell, a chip specialist with whom Vodafone is becoming increasingly entwined. In fact, the company’s second announcement incudes an expansion of the operator’s existing Open RAN partnership with Samsung, inviting Marvell to join the duo’s Open RAN R&D efforts.

“Vodafone and Samsung are combining their technical leadership and embracing open standards with Marvell’s advanced silicon chipset. Together, we can deliver an Open RAN system with features and performance that rivals that of traditional mobile radio networks now, and can better them in future, whilst bringing much needed resilience to the vendor supply chain,” explained Vodafone CTO Johan Wibergh, who is retiring at the end of the year and will be replaced by current chief digital and IT officer Scott Petty.

Earlier this year, the Samsung and Vodafone had collaborated to launch the UK’s first live 5G Open RAN site.

The third deal is also closely related to chipsets, this time with US firm Qualcomm. The new partnership will see Vodafone work with the silicon specialist to develop, test and integrate next-generation 5G distributed units and radio units for use in massive multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) deployments. These units will make use of Qualcomm’s latest X100 5G RAN Accelerator Card and QRU100 5G RAN Platform, which the company announced back in September.

Lastly, Vodafone has signed a new memorandum of understanding with Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo, pledging to “harmonise mobile operator system integration and test processes”; in short, promising to share their Open RAN-related expertise, technologies, and test results with one another. In particular, the operators’ will reportedly focus on exploring two of Open RAN’s most exciting technical elements: the Service Management Orchestrator and the RAN Intelligent Controller.

“The collective R&D power of Vodafone and DOCOMO will lower the entry barrier for many more companies across Europe and Asia wishing to build Open RAN networks. Rather than fragmenting the industry, Open RAN is bringing us together, across continents, to drive diversification of network equipment vendors and ensure greater systems integration,” said Wibergh.

Alongside this new string of partnerships, Vodafone says it will be taking its Open RAN operations in Germany to the next level, following successful trials in the city of Plauen earlier this year.

A new 5G Open RAN pilot project is being planned to take place in early 2023, seeing the technology deployed in commercial networks in rural areas in Southeast Bavaria and Northeast Lower Saxony.

For Vodafone, this deployment will mark the beginning of a wider German rollout over the next two to three years; in total, Vodafone aims to have 30% of its mobile sites in Europe equipped with Open RAN tech by 2030.

“This will be the first Open RAN system in Germany that not only uses open interfaces but is built on both hardware and software from multiple vendors that is fully interchangeable and interoperable based on the choice of the operator,” explained Santiago Tenorio, Director of Network Architecture for Vodafone. “It brings timely resilience to the supply chain, allowing us to work with a greater number and more diverse pool of suppliers. Greater competition also encourages innovation, leading to a better mobile experience for our customers.”

It is still very much early days for Open RAN technology, which has yet to prove itself at scale in live networks. Nonetheless, Vodafone’s increasing commitment to the nascent technology is setting the operator apart from its rivals.

Will Open RAN ultimately disrupt the telecoms vendor ecosystem or is it hot air? Join the experts in discussion at this year’s live Total Telecom Congress

Also in the news:
The missing 3.2 billion…
New EXA investment serves customers across the Iberian peninsula
Startup stories: Facing up to cybersecurity risks

IHS Towers announces emissions targets

IHS Towers, one of the largest independent owners, operators and developers of shared communications infrastructure in the world by tower count, has announced what it calls its Carbon Reduction Roadmap, with an emphasis on its African markets in particular.

The Carbon Reduction Roadmap, says IHS, provides a comprehensive strategy for decreasing IHS Towers’ emissions, including a goal to reduce the Scope 1 and Scope 2 kilowatt-hour emissions intensity of its tower portfolio by 50% by 2030, using 2021 emissions data as the baseline.

According to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a global standard framework for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions, Scope 1 emissions include direct emissions from a company’s owned or controlled sources. Scope 2 emissions include indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased or acquired energy.

Under Project Green, the next significant step of its Carbon Reduction Roadmap, IHS expects to spend $214 million in capex towards these efforts between 2022 and 2024, and to deliver annual recurring levered free cash flow (RLFCF) savings of $77 million in 2025. This, in turn, is expected to generate an implied return on investment of 30%.

Savings will be achieved by connecting more sites to the electricity grid and via the deployment and integration of battery storage and solar panel solutions.

In scope for Project Green are IHS Towers’ African operations in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia, along with Kuwait; all of these markets have traditionally had a strong reliance on diesel generators.

IHS Towers says it has also taken this opportunity to revise its corporate values and incorporate a sustainability value that focuses on health and safety, security, and the environment, to ensure that these topics are further embedded throughout the business. “These values,” it says, “are our guiding principles that help foster teamwork and ensure we achieve our shared business goals.”

The Carbon Reduction Roadmap is available to download via the IHS Towers website.