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4G in Ghana • Nov 2014

The first 4G LTE data network in Ghana

eVantage’s Fund II commits $30 million to Surfline Communications, the first 4G LTE data network in GhanaA high-speed internet connectivity up to 10 times faster than the average speeds offered by the existing mobile network operators 

Vantage Mezzanine, Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, announced it had concluded a transaction with Surfline Communications to provide $30 million (R330 million) of expansion capital to the company together with a fund co-investor.

The funds will be used for the on-going expansion of Surfline’s 4G LTE network in Ghana as well as to grow its product distribution and marketing network. By deploying the first 4G LTE mobile network in Ghana, Surfline is able to offer high-speed internet connectivity (up to 10 times faster than the average speeds offered by the existing mobile network operators) at rates that are competitive with existing internet service providers. Because the Surfline network does not rely on the limited fixed line telecommunications infrastructure in Ghana, the company is able to rapidly roll-out its services across its coverage area.

Surfline was established to provide wireless broadband and related services to the Ghanaian market, including meeting the emergent and largely unfulfilled data needs of Ghana’s businesses, government agencies, professional and academic communities and residential users. The network achieved a very successful commercial launch in August 2014 and is experiencing tremendous growth in its customer base, in both the consumer and corporate/enterprise segments. Just two weeks ago, Surfline was shortlisted for the award of “Breakthrough LTE Development” category by the Africa Communications Awards for its successful deployment of Ghana’s first 4G LTE network. John Taylor, Surfline’s Executive Chairman, has also been listed in the 2014 World Finance 100, which celebrates 100 individuals who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their field of expertise.

John Taylor said, “Vantage provided us with growth capital in a shareholder-friendly structure that we required to expand the business by supplementing the existing financing in place." 

Yaw Keteku, Associate Partner at Vantage leading their investment activities in Ghana, said “Under John Taylor’s visionary leadership, Surfline has assembled a team of highly-skilled professionals and technical partners who have built a first class communication network to meet Ghana’s ever-growing data demand. We have developed a close working relationship with the Surfline team and we look forward to supporting the business as it grows.”

Luc Albinski, Managing Partner at Vantage, added “We are delighted to announce that we have made our third investment outside of South Africa. Over the last five years, Vantage has reviewed over 600 investment opportunities and we consider Surfline to be one of the most exciting deals we have seen.” The investment in Surfline follows Vantage’s pan-African strategy of focusing on high-growth African markets such as Ghana, Nigeria, the East African Community members and some of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. 

Surfline is Vantage’s second investment in Ghana after its $18.5 million (R204 million) commitment to Genser Energy, an independent power producer that is currently commissioning a 30 megawatt power plant, which is expected to come on-line shortly. Mutle Mogase, Vantage’s Chairman, said “Vantage, with the support of its investors, is contributing almost $50 million (R550 million) towards the improvement of infrastructure in Ghana by supporting the rollout of a broadband network and new power generation projects. The developmental multiplier effect of increased power generation capacity and high-speed internet will drive further economic growth in the country.”

Surfline is the eleventh mezzanine transaction in Vantage’s second fund, of which more than 80% of available funds have been invested. More than half of the capital deployed has gone into growth projects such as Surfline. Vantage has commenced the raising of its third mezzanine fund, which is targeted to close by the first quarter of 2015 at $250 million (R2.75 billion). 

Oxford & Beaumont Solicitors acted as legal counsel to Vantage on this transaction. • 11-14

Transmisión de datos • MWC 2014

Huawei demuestra su solución UMTS MCMF con Qualcomm Technologies en el Mobile World Congress

Huawei, proveedor líder global de Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación (TIC), ha mostrado su solución Multi-Carrier y Multi-Flow (MCMF) sobre cuatro corrientes de datos HSDPA junto con Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., una subsidiaria de Qualcomm Incorporated, en el Mobile World Congress 2014.

La solución proporciona los mismos o incluso mayores niveles de transmisión de datos cuando un dispositivo móvil conectado está en el extremo de la célula comparado con cuando está en el centro, con el fin de asegurar una experiencia de usuario totalmente uniforme.

El rápido crecimiento del tráfico de datos en redes de banda ancha móvil supone un reto para los operadores y su habilidad para garantizar una experiencia de uso sin fisuras. Un mayor rendimiento por usuario en el extremo de la célula supone un aspecto importante a la hora de asegurar una mejor experiencia de uso. Sin embargo, este rendimiento no es tan alto como en el centro de la célula debido a una menor fortaleza del radio y a las interferencias de las células vecinas.

La solución MCMF mitiga estos retos al agregar al terminal móvil hasta cuatro corrientes de datos HSDPA procedentes de una o dos instalaciones. Para el usuario final, la solución MCMF proporciona una experiencia de usuario mejorada en el extremo de la célula. Para los operadores, es capaz de equilibrar las cargas de tráfico para células adyacentes con el fin de mejorar el rendimiento general del sistema.
Huawei y Qualcomm Technologies han completado de forma exitosa una prueba integral del prototipo de la solución MCMF el pasado mes de enero en el laboratorio de Huawei en Shanghái.  La prueba alcanzó hasta 60 Mbps de rendimiento de descarga mediante el uso de cuatro carriers HSDPA en un espectro de banda ancha de 10MHz. El test también demostró que la solución MCMF puede proporcionar hasta dos veces más de rencimiento de usuario con un nivel de transmisión de datos Dual-carrier HSDPA.

Wang Yixiang, Presidente de la Línea de Producto UMTS de Huawei, afirmó: “Nuestro objetivo es maximizar la experiencia del usuario final de la red UMTS. Hemos trabajado con Qualcomm Technologies para proporcionar soluciones de valor que den respuesta a las demandas de nuestros clientes. Esperamos una comercialización a gran escala de la solución MCMF en un futuro cercano. Como partner estratégico de todos los operadores de banda ancha móvil, Huawei nunca dejará de innovar en las tecnologías que mejoren la eficiencia del espectro y la experiencia de uso”.

Mario Scipione, Vicepresidente de Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., ha afirmado: “Estamos muy contentos de trabajar con Huawei para dirigir la evolución y el despliegue comercial de UMTS/HSPA+. Como parte de la iniciativa de Qualcomm que pretende conseguir redes con capacidad para un volumen de datos 1.000 veces mayor que las actuales para abordar la demanda de datos sin precedentes de la industria inalámbrica, la solución MCMF fue diseñada para ayudar a los operadores a maximizar el rendimiento por usuario de la célula y utilizar la capacidad de reserva de las células vecinas”.

La solución MCMF está fundamentada en la función Multi-Flow del informe número 11 del Proyecto Asociación de Tercera Generación (3GPP por sus siglas en inglés), estandarizado por 3GPP en 2012. Huawei está trabajando para desarrollar y lanzar una versión comercial de la solución MCMF.
Sobre Huawei

Huawei es proveedor líder global de soluciones de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación (TIC). Gracias a nuestra dedicación centrada en el cliente y a una potente red de socios de negocio, ofrecemos soluciones extremo a extremo en redes de telecomunicaciones, terminales y Cloud Computing. Creamos el máximo valor añadido para las operadoras de telecomunicaciones, empresas y usuarios, proporcionando soluciones y servicios competitivos y de alto valor añadido. Nuestros productos y soluciones se comercializan en más de 140 países, dando servicio a más de un tercio de la población mundial. • 26-2-14


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Strategic contents • Nov 2014

Africa Intelligence gives a new visual identity to its confidential newsletters  

A full digital conversion process started 18 months ago by publishing company Indigo Publications

With restyled logos, more dynamic lay-outs and better defined sections, the Africa Intelligence web portal (http://www.AfricaIntelligence.com) has modernised its five confidential newsletters: West Africa Newsletter, The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Maghreb Confidential, Africa Energy Intelligence and Africa Mining Intelligence.

The new design has been conceived for reading on computers and tablets. Emphasis has also been put on inter-activity, with numerous articles in the newsletters linked to complementary content on the Africa Intelligence portal. The logos have been produced by Aurélien Meunier of the Nooga agency and the lay-outs by editorial design agency Rampazzo & Associés.

The new visual identity of the confidential newsletters is part of a full digital conversion process started 18 months ago by publishing company Indigo Publications. After launching a mobile application in May, a completely new version of the Africa Intelligence portal will be put on line at the start of 2015.

These changes will enable Africa Intelligence to maintain the strong editorial ambition which has been its trademark since 1996, with exclusive information in English and French about the people, business networks and political forces at work in Africa.

The launch of this new formula comes with an attractive commercial offer in the form of an exceptional 40% reduction on the subscription price for 15 days. Free download of the newsletters is also being offered to readers who want to get an idea of their new visual identity (see http://www.AfricaIntelligence.com).

The Africa Intelligence portal is published by Indigo Publications, an independent press group set up in Paris in 1981 by a group of journalists. Often styled “the smallest international press group in the world”, it also edits three other websites, Intelligence Online (http://www.intelligenceonline.com), La Lettre A (http://www.lalettrea.fr) and PresseNews (http://www.pressenews.fr). The group makes no use of advertising or subsidies and draws all its resources from its readers. • 11/14

 

Mobile Awards • MWC 2014

Turkcell wins GSMA's Global Mobile Award with “Dream Partner” for the Visually Impaired

 Turkcell, Turkey’s leading telecommunication and technology company, won a prestigious Global Mobile Award  with "My Dream Partner" - Turkcell's service for the visually impaired. The service was chosen as the “Best Mobile Service for Accessibility or Ease-of-use” in the category of "Social and Economic Development" by the GSMA. 

Turkcell’s “Dream Partner” - a cooperation between the company and Young Guru Academy- enriches and facilitates the lives of thousands of visually impaired individuals in Turkey. Subscribers of the service can access daily news, columnist pieces that appear in daily newspapers, thousands of books, location services, education and entertainment content in audio format. The library of "My Dream Partner" contains 5000 audio books and is 3 times larger than the average volume of similar platforms. Through its speech-to-text technology, users of the service can take and share notes faster and with greater independence. 

"My Dream Partner" is available to a wide mobile customer base as an IVR service as well as an iOS- and Android-compatible application. The award-winning service is currently serving 6,250 subscribers with an average of 7,500-minutes-a-day total listening time. 

Burak Sevilengul, Chief Consumer Marketing Officer at Turkcell, received the award in Barcelona. “Our priority is to create a difference in the lives of our customers through services that speak to their individual needs. We are happy to have facilitated and enriched the lives of thousands of Turkcell customers with "My Dream Partner". Winning an award in such a meaningful category with this service contributes to our enthusiasm to introduce further innovative services" said Sevilengul upon receiving the award. 

Turkcell’s free-of-charge service “My Dream Partner” was launched in 2012 and has served the visually impaired with more than 350 thousand calls that add up to about 2 million minutes. The project is also considered to be exported and implemented in Ukraine. 

Turkcell's Smart Map service for its corporate customers and SMS+ were also finalists at the Global Mobile Awards.

Turkcell is the leading communications and technology company in Turkey, with 35.2 million subscribers as of December 31, 2013. Turkcell is a leading regional player, with market leadership in five of the nine countries in which it operates with its approximately 71.3 million subscribers as of December 31, 2013. It has become one of the first among the global operators to have implemented HSPA+. It has achieved up to 43.2 Mbps speed using the Dual Carrier technology, and is continuously working to provide the latest technology to its customers. Turkcell Superonline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Turkcell, is the first telecom operator to offer households fiber broadband connection at speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps in Turkey. As of December 2013, Turkcell’s population coverage is at 99.49% in 2G and 86.17% in 3G.  Turkcell reported a TRY11.4 billion (US$6.0 billion) revenue with total assets of TRY21.3 billion (US$10.0 billion) as of December 31, 2013. It has been listed on the NYSE and the ISE since July 2000, and is the only NYSE-listed company in Turkey.




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