While on a state visit to China last week, Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi toured the headquarters of global information communications technology (ICT) solutions provider Huawei. A statement from Huawei Botswana states that Dr Venson-Moitoi, accompanied by Huawei Senior Vice President Qu Wenchu, toured the company’s Beijing Executive Briefing Center and inspected its latest 5G technologies research results.
In a statement released last week Cyril Xu, Huawei Botswana’s Public Relations and Government Affairs Manager said Dr Venson-Moitoi was also shown Huawei’s tele-presence video conferencing system, which was donated to her Ministry on May 21st by the Chinese Embassy.
“The system will connect Botswana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with all its foreign missions around the world,” said Cyril Xu.
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading ICT solutions provider with a global footprint in over 170 countries, where it serves more than one-third of the world’s population with end-to-end capabilities across carrier networks, enterprise and consumer markets. In 2014, the company generated USD46.5 billion in revenue from its global operations, 10 percent of which is reinvested into research and development. Huawei has been operating in Botswana for 17 years, servicing telecommunications operators like Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), cellular network provider Mascom and Botswana Fiber Networks (BoFiNet). The local company, Huawei Botswana employs 60 people, 40 of which are Batswana. It has also carried out a number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, recently donating 60 Huawei tablets to three schools in Ghanzi during the 2015 World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) in May.
Globally, Huawei is considered a major driver of China’s trajectory into Africa and has over the years broken the monopoly of Western telecom giants, in the process reducing charges and facilitating exponential mobile penetration in the continent. In Botswana, the company has partnered with cell phone giant Mascom for the launch of its 4G network. Huawei’s latest P8 smartphone, together with its first smart wrist watch, will be available locally this year.
The company has also announced plans to unroll its 5th Generation (5G) technology by 2020.
While in Beijing, Dr Venson Moitoi inspected Huawei’s 5G mobile technology, which will become critical infrastructure in today’s super-connected world, with its one-millisecond latency that is expected to pave the way for self-driving vehicles and ground breaking industrial applications. Its peak speed of 10 Gbit/s will enable users to download an 8 G Byte movie in a few seconds. Huawei has revealed that it plans to spend over USD600million on 5G research and development between 2013 and 2018; and to put the technology to commercial use by 2020.
In Botswana, Huawei is also involved in upgrading the national fibre-optic backbone, aimed at boosting the national bandwidth. The company is also involved in the upgrading of the approximately 16,000 kilometre-long WACS infrastructure from its current 10Gbps capacity to 100Gbps by June 2015.