Africa about to celebrate 4G Posted on Monday 23 May 2011 - 11:12 dewane08 Divine Ewane, AfricaNews contributor in Douala, Cameroon It was President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania who once said that, "while the great powers are struggling to get to the moon, we in Africa are struggling to get to the village." Then Professor Ali A Mazrui added, " well, the great powers have gone to the moon and are back and the stars seem to get closer with every space innovation. Yet we in Africa have not yet reached the village; and if we ever get there, we are not sure of coming back. With the Evolution of ICTs, is bridging the digital divide solving this predicament? This year, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), will be celebrating the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day under the theme, Better life in rural communities with information and communications technologies. According to Joanne Lee, this is well-suited for a year in which 80 percent of the worlds total mobile connections will be developing in markets such as China and India. The peculiarities of rural areas are no longer a barrier thanks to the evolution of 4G wireless technologies like WiMax. WiMax, has evolved hitherto unimaginable speeds, ranging from 100Mbs to 1Gbps, and consequently faster than most consumer landlines. This 4G Technology is expected to bridge the gap between urban and rural life as well as developing parts of the world where landline technologies including fibre optic will not only be impractical but unnecessarily expensive. Because 4G operates on a greater number of frequency bands than its predecessors, operators can employ lower-frequency signals that travel much further from transmitter stations using the same amount of power. This translates to more coverage at lower costs. However, in Africa, where landlines are just about to be upgraded, to speeds that may still not reach the 4G Wimax experience, 4G deployment is not only an innovative venture, but its initial focus is the urban areas. In a way, this is Africas paradox. Conversely, this is why 4G Africa a Swiss, company that has invested in planting the first 4G Wimax experiences in sub-Saharan Africa is starting with the city of Douala in Cameroon, has been selected as a Finalist for Red Herring's Top 100 Europe awards, a prestigious list honoring the years most promising private technology ventures from the European business region; for The introduction of the 4th generation wireless technology in sub Saharan Africa, will contribute to close the digital divide. The first phase of the network which has just been completed provides indoor coverage for USB dongles and desktop modems in major residential and business areas of the city of Douala, the biggest town in Cameroon; the second phase will provide services in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2011. The 4G solution will be achieved using Alvarions end-to-end Mobile WiMAX 4Motion solution at the 2.5 GHz frequency band. Alvarion is the worlds leading provider of 4G networks in the Broadband Wireless Access (BWA).