Intelligence Brief: Does African 4G history offer lessons for 5G?

first_img GSMA Intelligence AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 06 AUG 2019 Intelligence Brief: Does intent matter in network automation? Related HomeBlog Intelligence Brief: Does African 4G history offer lessons for 5G? Read more Author When we think of 4G, we immediately think of an increase in mobile bandwidth, which increased mobile phone usage globally. Yet, 4G missed the commercial mark with consumers in Africa, and operators are still feeling the pinch. At GSMA’s Mobile360 Africa event, Safaricom’s Stephen Chege’s keynote speech addressed the limited usage of high-speed mobile broadband in Africa and the inevitable obstacle it has posed to the uptake of 4G services.During the event it became clear that low adoption could be attributed to a lack of consumer awareness of the wider range of uses or benefits of 4G and smartphones, and with 5G on the horizon operators could no longer afford to allow the technology to continue to be underutilised. In Q3 2019, 4G adoption was ranked at just 9 per cent and there was a call upon mobile network operators (MNOs) to begin educating consumers from urban to rural areas on the real capabilities of 4G before they could usher in 5G.The leapfrog to 3GPrior to the 3G-era, the African broadband market was vastly underserved (due largely to the emergence of mobile voice that subsequently limited the deployment of fixed line networks during the late 1990s and early 2000s). Although fixed line networks were key in delivering the popular broadband access technologies including ADSL or cable lines, mobile networks were faster, easier and cheaper to deploy, which operators sought to capitalise upon. Due to a lack of broadband services, ownership of personal computers or laptops was limited by way of sparse access.The introduction of 3G saw what we now know as the leapfrog the African market took in connecting consumers to the internet via mobile networks, thus shifting Africa into the next technological era and mobile phones became the primary point of access to the internet in the region.Despite initially filling the much needed gap of availability of internet services in the region at a low cost, 3G mobile broadband is highly limiting in its capacity with speeds that are up to ten-times slower than 4G. So why did the digital revolution stop at 3G for Africa’s consumers?The usage gap in 4GThe introduction of 4G in Africa initially saw slow rollout due to the high cost of deployment and, with no real coverage, consumers did not have access to a good 4G network that could service their capable devices. This curtailed consumer enthusiasm of the high-speed technology and, as a consequence when coverage increased (from 10 per cent in 2014 to 46 per cent in Q3 2019) usage and adoption has failed to evolve.GSMA Intelligence’s 2018 consumer survey found that sub-Saharan Africa’s connected consumers spend most of their time on traditional communications (mobile voice calls and SMS) or digital communications (instant messaging and voice calls using OTT applications, and social media networking) services (see chart, above, click to enlarge).The aforementioned use cases are all easily accessible on 3G networks and could run smoothly on feature-phones. So even if a consumer owns a smartphone and has access to a 4G connection, their uses don’t extend beyond that of a 3G-enabled device. Highlighting a key issue in the previously expected trade-off between 3G to 4G, because consumers were on a bumpy road towards 4G access, the usage of their devices has remained limited and consumers are yet to diversify their usage of the next generation access (NGA) technology.Beyond access: educating and localising to increase usageMNOs now have the burden of aiding consumers in diversifying their usage of NGA technologies by educating their consumers on the difference and the benefits: simply providing access has failed to increase adoption beyond 9 per cent. Some can argue the availability of entertainment (gaming and streaming) and lifestyle (education and health) applications in the region could have allowed for an increase in the uptake of services, however the lack of localised content has impeded uptake of popular global applications.Of course, if applications are not tailored to the wants or needs of consumers in the region, they are bound to fail and Africa is not exempt from this. Here, MNOs could focus on, or invest in, applications tailored to the region and fund the localisation of digital content that will inevitably contribute to an increase in data consumption. There will also be the short-term burden of educating consumers on the real difference between technologies and how uses differ widely between devices that can better serve their specific needs. Despite MNOs in Africa not carrying the burden of device financing, the benefits of educating the consumer on the differences of devices available will always increase adoption in the long run.We can remain sure that if 4G is not utilised to its full potential in Africa, 5G is bound to suffer a similar fate until the underlying issues are addressed. More importantly, we must stop misunderstanding the readiness of the average consumer as a barrier to investment in future NGA technologies and look at how best to educate consumers to ensure technologies are utilised.– Julie Ssali – telecoms forecast analyst – GSMA IntelligenceThe editorial views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and will not necessarily reflect the views of the GSMA, its Members or Associate Members. 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County, Wildcatters face-off in contract negotiations

By Sherry Koonce The News staff writer BEAUMONT — Jefferson County and the Texas Wildcatters are in a face-off this week while their attorneys try to determine how much time is remaining on the Southeast Texas hockey team’s contract. Whether the team’s contract is up for renewal now, or a year from now was the topic at a county commissioner work session Monday. Jeff Branick, assistant to the County Judge, said the county believes the team’s contract expires at the end of this season, probably in April or May depending on how many play-off games the team wins. The Wildcatters, said the team’s attorney John Burmeister, contend they have one more season before the original contract signed in 2003-04 is up for renewal. Burmeister said the contract would have expired at the end of the 2008 season, but because the team missed the 2006 season due of damage incurred to Ford Park by Hurricane Rita, the contract should be extended by another year. “Normally, 2008 would have been the last year of the contract, but the hurricane came in and kept the Wildcatters from playing a season,” Burmeister said. For the 2006-07 and the 2007-08 seasons, the Wildcatters were not required to pay the county for use of the Ford Park arena. Burmeister said the team will go back to the original agreement and pay $3,000 per game plus a graduated fee for every person attending thereafter. “From an operational standpoint, the county has had to subsidize hockey between 6,600 and $11,000 a game for the past two years, Branick said. Attorneys representing the county and the team plan to meet Tuesday to negotiate the contract, Branick said. In other matters, County Commissioners tabled for the third time, this time permanently, an agenda item that would have designated Precinct 1 Commissioner Eddie Arnold as the county’s representative on a sister-city trade mission to China. Arnold was to have traveled to Henan, China with a delegation from Port Arthur and a group of Southeast Texas business leaders. The group hoped of attract Chinese firms willing to invest in manufacturing businesses in Port Arthur. Arnold asked that the item be removed because he had been notified that Port Arthur Mayor Bobbie Prince would not be traveling to Henan, China because of security concerns in Tibet. If the trip materializes in the future, Arnold said he would utilize his vacation time to attend. Prince said she hopes the trip is only delayed, and that the political unrest in the region subsides so the delegation can go ahead with the trip at a later date. “With the state’s department travel advisory that is out right now, that poses a problem for me. Hopefully before the year is over we will have another opportunity go, but right now I don’t think that it is wise to make the trip,” Prince said. Her decision had nothing to do with the decision City Council made last week, she said. On Tuesday, the City Council voted 7-2 against funding the trip. Since then, Prince said alternate funding had been secured to pay for her travel expenses, but now that the advisory was issued, she will not be going. Prince said the advisory could be lifted as early as mid-April. Contact this reporter at [email protected] read more

HHS sees little progress on healthcare-related infections

first_imgApr 14, 2010 (CIDRAP News) – The latest data show little progress in eliminating healthcare-associated infections, with several types increasing, according to a report released yesterday by the US Department of Health and Human Services.The 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report shows increases in postoperative sepsis (bloodstream infections), postoperative urinary tract infections (UTIs), and a mix of other infections. On the positive side, rates of postoperative pneumonia dropped almost 12%.The figures, the latest data available, mostly date to 2007. Released with the healthcare quality report was HHS’s annual National Healthcare Disparities Report. Both were produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).”Despite promising improvements in a few areas of health care, we are not achieving the more substantial strides that are needed to address persistent gaps in quality and access,” AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, said in a news release.The agency estimated that the rate of postoperative sepsis increased 8.0%, the worst showing of any of the quality measures assessed. The sepsis rate in adult elective surgeries in 2006 was 15.1 per 1,000, the report says.The rate of postoperative catheter-associated UTIs in Medicare beneficiaries increased 3.6%, the AHRQ said. About 4.9% of such patients had a catheter-related UTI in 2007.Also rising is the rate of “selected infections due to medical care,” up 1.6%, according to the report, which does not list the infections included.The agency found no change in the rate of bloodstream infections linked to central venous catheters (tubes placed in a large vein in the neck, chest, or groin to give medication or collect blood samples) from 2005 to 2007. These occurred in about 3.5% of patients in 2007, according to a chart in the report.The lack of improvement in several types of healthcare-related infections may partly reflect improving detection, the report states.The rate of postoperative pneumonia in Medicare patients dropped an estimated 11.6%, the AHRQ said. Overall from 2002 to 2007, the proportion of adult surgical patients who had either pneumonia or a thromboembolic event after surgery dropped from 3.4% to 1.4%.The agency found an improvement in the use of a recommended measure for preventing surgical wound infections: administration of appropriate antibiotics within 1 hour before surgery. The proportion of adult patients who received appropriately timed antibiotics improved from 74.9% in 2005 to 86.4% in 2007, the report states.However, elderly patients were less likely to get this treatment than those younger than 65. Also, says the news release, “Although rates are improving incrementally, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians are less likely than whites to receive preventive antibiotics before surgery in a timely manner.”Clancy said AHRQ-funded research in Michigan has shown that healthcare-related infections can be sharply reduced. “We are now working to make sure that happens in all hospitals,” she said.By adopting standardized procedures, more than 100 intensive care units in Michigan have kept the rate of central catheter–associated bloodstream infections near zero for 3 years, the agency said. It said it has expanded this project nationwide with new funds that became available last year.See also: Apr 13 AHRQ press release text of the 2009 National Healthcare Quality Report read more