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September 2009

The changing mobile banking landscape in Africa

Young African girl using a laptop wireless connection against an African landscape

Last month the BBC covered the hot topic of the success of mobile banking in Africa. It’s not surprising that mobile banking are today’s industry buzzwords, given the growth in handsets in Kenya alone has rocketed to 15 million from 15,000 in just 10 years.

Using VectaStar since 2006, MTN is one operator that has quickly built and deployed multiple mobile broadband networks throughout Africa. This growth has completely revolutionised communications in the region, introducing wide-scale internet access in many areas and up to 100% mobile penetration in Kenya, South Africa and parts of North Africa.

As mobile broadband has rapidly spread, mobile banking has seen enormous successes across the region. Many of the areas with high take-up rates have not previously had access to traditional banking and the population are able to use it to generate new opportunities in business. Used for buying cattle, paying employees and setting up customer accounts, mobile banking has opened doors to business that were not possible before.

MTN have recognised the importance of mobile banking across their networks. As the BBC reports,

“South Africa’s MTN recently announced plans for a fully-fledged bank account on mobile phones, with an optional credit card. The service will be extended to the 20 countries where MTN operates, including Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, which combined have over 90 million mobile phone users.”

CBNL is proud that the use of its VectaStar solution by MTN is providing access to financial services for people living in remote areas. Such access is an important step in the development of emerging market economies and the economic empowerment of its people.

Join us at ITU Telecom World 09 Forum

ITU Telecom World 09 Forum

Lance Hiley, VP Market Strategy at Cambridge Broadband Networks, will be speaking at the Joint ITU/NGMN Session “Mobile Broadband 2010+” at the Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, 7 October 2009.

The first session of the day will be an expert forum entitled Infrastructure innovations: Backhaul, open interfaces, trials and testing.

Lance will be one of a panel of experts discussing some of the issues around the deployment of next generation mobile backhaul networks. Key areas of focus will include: what are the greatest challenges in the migration towards access-agnostic, all-IP core networks, and how will next generation mobile networks cope with the rising traffic, the increased reliability requirements, and the needs for differentiated quality of service treatment?

Download the agenda and conference stream details.

Cambridge Broadband Networks to open offices in the Middle East

Graham Peel - CEO

Due to unprecedented demand for VectaStar in the region, we’re happy to announce that we will be setting up headquarters for Cambridge Broadband Networks in the Middle East.

Over the last 12 months, business in the region has increased significantly and VectaStar is now being deployed by tier 1 operators across the Middle East. We look forward to the grand opening of our new Middle East HQ. More details will be announced shortly.

Spotify to cause backhaul bottleneck


Since the last edition of Infocast, the issue of bandwidth has been in the news again. In the July edition of Infocast, Lance Hiley talked about the issues facing operators, suggesting they could be running out of runway using some examples of internet traffic that have a potentially detrimental effect on QoS, resulting in increased churn and lower ARPU levels.

Mobile Entertainment is just one publication that has been discussing the issues around bandwidth, using the new Spotify app for iPhone as an example of a high-bandwidth app, which could harm voice calls.

Lance Hiley, VP Market Strategy at Cambridge Broadband Networks asks: “How will today’s backhaul solutions stack-up?”

“Apps like Spotify for the iPhone are a taste of things to come. As high-bandwidth apps begin to saturate the market, many of today’s backhaul solutions will struggle to provide meet demand.

Why is this?

Because, most backhaul solutions are not able to dynamically allocate bandwidth between cell sites and the operator’s core network as their data demands fluctuate. The problem with many backhaul solutions available today, they are dimensioned for specific traffic peaks. They are not able to offer peak data capacity to a large number of customers at any one time.

The transition to all-IP networks helps in this regard but does not go far enough. VectaStar has a unique technology that will support ‘bursty’ data demands all the while ensuring that minimum capacity demand is met at all times. This works even in busy periods, when many alternative solutions struggle to keep up. We’re continuing to develop VectaStar’s unique architecture to support today’s cutting edge telecoms innovation to make sure we are best suited to meet whatever popular App may be around the corner!”

Previous editions

WCA Awards 2009


We’ve made the shortlist for the World Communication Awards 2009. We’re up against BT in the Best Technology Foresight Award and the winners will be announced at the awards dinner on 25 November.

Fingers crossed!

Network Services Group launched

CBNL Network services group has been launched this month. The group will work alongside customers to provide additional services including network design, RF planning, installation and commissioning and on the job training. For more information on what is available, email and keep an eye on our website for more information.

African Focus

Say hello!

We’re attending North Africa Com in October, and Africa Com in November.
Why not drop by and say hello?

North Africa Com

October 2009

North Africa Com

North Africa Com is in Cairo, in October this year. Senior Technical Consultant, David Turner, is speaking on a panel session discussing the challenges that operators face in launching broadband services.

Africa Com

November 2009

Africa Com

Cape Town’s Africa Com follows shortly, in November, where Neeren Ramharakh and Shaneel Ramanand will be amongst the Cambridge Broadband Networks team that will be available to meet and greet you. If you would like to book a meeting with Neeren or Shaneel, please email the events department.