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Africa Tech Festival 2023 - The Home of AfricaCom
Core Agenda & Exhibition: 14-16 Nov
Partner Programmes & Digital Content: 14 - 16 NovCape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Core Agenda & Exhibition: 14-16 Nov
Partner Programmes & Digital Content: 14 - 16 Nov,
Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

Connectivity Project of the Year Award 2022

This award celebrates the network providers and services going above-and-beyond to provide connectivity in an environment where demand has never been higher, and broadband has become a lifeline for access to education & economic activity.

DISCOVER THE FINALISTS

Voting is now closed, best of luck to our finalists!

The winners will be unveiled at the exclusive drinks reception, taking place on Wednesday 9 November from 6-8pm at the CTICC.

NuRAN Wireless

For several years, NuRAN has been pushing the rural connectivity agenda and has become a household name. NuRAN has and continues to develop purpose-built RAN equipment to help MNOs and other organisations extend mobile services beyond current boundaries. 

NuRAN views the digital divide not as an unsurmountable challenge, but as a serious problem that must be resolved. In 2020, NuRAN embraced rural connectivity for what it is: a risky business with great potential. Rather than fear what lies ahead, NuRAN decided to embrace the problem and solve it. We moved from a specialised equipment vendor to becoming a rural service provider. As such, we provide a full turnkey network solution and finance over a multi-year term removing investment and risk for our customers and allowing them to maximise returns. NuRAN has effectively changed the face of Rural Connectivity making it an attractive business model for MNOs and organisations, whilst we oil the cogs in the background to ensure its success.

Over the past year, NuRAN Wireless has been able to accomplish several projects. The company has achieved a lot of major successes. Indeed, NuRAN is now able to secure 3142 sites and potentially connect over 18 million people. NuRAN's network as a service business model has developed across 5 different countries: South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Namibia, and Sudan.

This well-established company has successfully covered 13 million people with the help of two partners, MTN and Orange.

Avanti Communications

Over one million children in Kenya do not regularly attend school, marginalised by societal issues including poverty and distance. A solution was required that could measurably improve education and life outcomes for a target of 150,000 pupils - 68,000 of whom are defined as marginalised girls. 

Led by Avanti Communications and its partners (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), sQuid, Whizz Education and Camara Education), Project iMlango is a first-of-its-kind e-learning partnership, created to deliver improved educational outcomes in maths, literacy and life skills for marginalised children.

The project provides high-speed internet connectivity to rural and remote schools; tailored online educational content; electronic attendance monitoring with conditional payments to families to improve non-attendance and drop-out rates; in-field capacity in technology and support resources; and real-time project monitoring/measurement.

Across 205 Primary schools and 40 Secondary schools, we saw over 180,000 students with improved educational outcomes in maths, literacy, and life skills. We found out that students who have access to the individualised learning platform for 60 minutes per week improve their “maths ages by on average, 18 months within their first year of access.

Ericsson & MTN Benin

The ongoing rise of connected devices has led to an increase in spectrum requirements putting a strain on certain sites.

Ericsson and MTN Benin entered a strategic partnership to take the network operations from a reactive to a proactive approach, address throughout degradation, and ultimately provide improved customer satisfaction. 

Together, they designed a solution utilizing AI and Machine Learning, building on the existing Ericsson Operations Engine to provide data-driven network operations. 

The solution also included Ericsson's AI-based Cognitive Software for network optimization, which was the first live implementation of Cognitive Software in Africa.  
The solution devised its algorithms to act on highly accurate predictions of future lower throughout based on historical data anticipating throughout degradation and offering zero-touch corrective action. 


The outcomes of this implementation have been remarkable: 
1.   The automation journey: By introducing 29 automation use cases, Ericsson and MTN Benin have achieved 92% auto-created corrective work orders and 83% automated health checks.
2.   Network performance: These automations have led to significantly enhanced network performance and operational efficiency. Network outage incidents have been reduced by 72%, and with an increase in LTE data volume by 48% the LTE downlink throughput has increased by 20% and uplink by 28%.
3.   Customer satisfaction: Most importantly, all of these improvements have helped MTN Benin achieve the best performing network in the country, with delighted customers as the result. MTN Benin claims the number 1 position in external audits for Network Net Promoter Score for consecutive quarters and is ranked number one in third-party benchmarking by Rohde & Schwarz.

All in all, Ericsson offered the best available solution with proactive AI and Machine Learning software, helping MTN Benin to take the operations from a reactive to proactive approach to make network management more effective, bring operational efficiency, and better customer satisfaction.