UK in Angola Week: 5G Private Networks

Inaugural UK in Angola week

The first UK in Angola Week will be a celebration of all British Trade & Investment in Angola, jointly hosted by the UK Embassy in Angola, UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Angola Chamber of Commerce, and accompanied by His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Angola, John Humphrey, and His Majesty’s Ambassador to Angola, Roger Stringer MBE.

As part of this activity, Digis Squared CEO Ziad Khalil, Marketing Director Gwen Edwards, and Managed Services Director Mostafa Adel, will be in Luanda supporting the “UK in Angola” events. With our partners Africell Angola, we’ll be leading an exclusive briefing on Private Networks, and the benefits this new mobile technology will bring to Angola’s businesses.

Specializing in mobile telecoms, Digis Squared have 50 staff in Angola, and a multi-year contract with Africell Angola for the full end-to-end Managed Service of their entire mobile network.

Details of all events are listed below. Capacity at each event is limited, please RSVP to Eden Clayton, DIT Angola Country Director by 25th November.

Details of the 5G Private Networks event hosted by Africell and Digis Squared,

  • Tuesday 29th November, 14:00-16:00: Africell Angola & Digis Squared
  • 5G Private Networks will deliver dedicated, high capacity, high speed, secure, campus-wide connectivity for Angolan industries, on standard 5G devices, with seamless use in/out of normal mobile networks. Join this dedicated mobile telecoms session, led by Africell and Digis Squared, to discover more.
  • Please RSVP to Eden Clayton, DIT Angola Country Director: by 25th November.

Monday 28th November

  • 13:00-16:00: Introductory event hosted by His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Africa, John Humphrey, and His Majesty’s Ambassador to Angola, Roger Stringer.
  • This event is targeted at UK companies visiting Angola, and will feature an introduction to the Angolan Business Environment featuring a presentation on the Angolan Legal System by Eversheds Sutherlands and an overview of Angolan Business Culture.
  • 18:00-20:00: Welcome Reception, hosted by the UK Angola Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Sanlam Angola. All delegates are welcome to attend this event.

Tuesday 29th November

  • 10:00-12:00: Mining Roundtable Session: “Developing Angola’s Mining Capacity”.
  • The agenda for this session will include discussions on developing human capital, building the industry’s service sector, and the digitalisation of the sector.
  • 14:00-16:00: Africell Angola & Digis Squared (Digis2) ◦ Enabling smarter networks Presentation on Private 5G Networks
  • 5G Private Networks will deliver dedicated, high capacity, high speed, secure, campus-wide connectivity for Angolan industries, on standard 5G devices, with seamless use in/out of normal mobile networks. Join this dedicated mobile telecoms session, led by Africell and Digis Squared, to discover more.
  • 18:00-21:00: Screening of England v Wales in the Fifa Men’s World Cup at the British Embassy Luanda. Informal networking event with food and drink provided, delivered in association with Energy, Capital & Power

Wednesday 30th November

  • 10:00-12:00: HMTC John Humphrey to appear as a panel member on the Renewable Energy & Hydrogen Roundtable at the Angola Oil & Gas Conference
  • 18:00-20:00: St Andrew’s Day Evening Reception, sponsored by KCA Deutag.

Transforming lives: Insights from new network launches in Angola & Yemen

Transforming lives: This blog post provides a transcript of, and images from, the presentation made in the main auditorium at MWC Africa by Gwen Edwards, Marketing Director at Digis Squared. Presented in the Network Modernisation session on Day One of the conference, 25th October 2022.

The presentation focuses on two key Digis Squared Managed Services projects.

Also available as a standalone white paper.

MWC Africa 2022 – Network Modernisation session

Main auditorium, Kigali Convention Centre, Day One of the inaugural MWC Africa.

“With the ever-evolving and rapid advancements in technology, network transformation will be key for delivering next generation services. How are communication service providers across Africa, enhancing their capabilities to offer seamless connectivity and better digital experiences to their customers? How are they utilising cloud, virtualisation and AI to address the challenges of the region, from usage gap to decarbonisation? Join us as we answer some these questions, while also exploring Open RAN ambitions and the steps needed to prepare the network for web3.”

Transforming lives: Insights from new network launches in Angola & Yemen

Thank you, I’m delighted to join you here today.

I’ll be sharing insights into some of our recent projects transforming and launching new networks in Yemen and Angola, and how these projects are transforming lives.

About us

Digis Squared is an independent UK company, focused on Managed Services, System Integration, and Consulting.

We’re 6 years old, and our senior staff have worked in the telecoms sector for decades for vendors and operators.

We develop our own vendor-agnostic AI tools in-house, have strong processes, and about 200 staff across Africa and the Middle East.

And we’re the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end-to-end Managed Services.

Similar, very different

The projects I’m sharing today focus on two operators, covering end-to-end managed services from pre-launch through to full launch and network operations.

Angola and Yemen have geographically challenging topography, plus their own logistical and societal complexities.

The projects are similar and very different.

Both projects delivered real change and transformed connectivity for communities.

Aden, Yemen

This is Aden, in the southern tip of Yemen, looking towards the Presidential Palace over on the left with the flag. Behind the white barriers in the centre is the football pitch.

Many of the photos I’m using today have been taken by our staff. We want to share with you a sense of place and insights into our projects and what we’ve achieved.

Yemen is complex

Before the conflict in Yemen, telecoms was second only to oil and gas in generating revenue and foreign currency for the government.

After almost 8 years of conflict, over 23 million people need humanitarian assistance, and
over 5 million are displaced.

In such a disrupted society, the need for reliable communications between families and communities is vital.

But, the networks supported only legacy 2G voice and text messages – no WhatsApp, no email, no search, no apps, no interconnect, and no roaming. With incredibly limited and patchy coverage, and significant network instability there was almost no mobile data, and even person-to-person calls were unreliable, making it very difficult to keep in contact with loved ones inside the country and internationally.

Difficult terrain

As part of the country’s re-construction mega-project, the Yemeni Government in Aden assigned 4G licenses to Y-Tel.

Digis Squared won a competitive tender and was selected to deliver the entire major transformation program. The old 2G legacy systems were dramatically upgraded to best-in-class, cloud-based solutions – 4G at launch, with 5G ready elements.

I’m worried I’ve made that sound easy! The local Digis Squared team on the ground in Yemen used our processes and AI tools to assess what was needed, and working together with our remote teams, they defined the strategy and services, co-ordinated and selected vendors, and managed contracts, logistics and warehousing. They used our smart network planning tools, managed the physical network rollout and optimization, the back and front office implementation, network commissioning and dimensioning, everything through to network operations. We worked together with Y-Tel, the Ministry of Telecommunications in Aden, and the GSMA to drive delivery of the new network.

As part of this huge program, we established a NOC in our Cairo GNOC to ensure operational excellence and resilience. And we continue to carefully balance local and remote skills by investing in on-site training for a new generation of Yemeni engineers.

Re-calibrating an over-used term: digital transformation

This project is huge.

We have entirely transformed the capability, stability and capacity available, and delivered every element of the new 4G network for Y-Tel.

The Digis Squared Operations Team in Yemen have been enormously committed to the project, working in very difficult environments, 24 hours a day to achieve key targets within specific windows.

I would like to publicly thank them and acknowledge the impact their work will have on connectivity between communities in Yemen.

In June this year, we completed the on schedule first call, and the first 4G data connection, and the first ever mobile video call in country. These are massive milestones for our client Y-Tel and the local Digis Squared Team in Aden.

It is hard for us now, in this room here in Kigali, to imagine or remember life without mobile connectivity. The certainty that you can phone a loved one, and so much more: the ability to place an order via your phone, to send a photo to a friend, to make a video call and check your Dad is ok – we take all of this for granted.

The impact the project will have on the people of Yemen is hard to express. This project in Yemen re-calibrates the term ‘digital transformation’. The connectivity we are delivering for Yemen will truly transform lives, and improve the functioning of society.

Be connected. Be fast.

The “first calls” made in June mark the start of network operations and pave the way for the phased roll-out of infrastructure and portfolio of customer services.

The Y-Tel pre-launch marketing campaign is underway, and focuses on simple, straightforward commitments: be connected, be fast.

As the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end-to-end Managed Services for mobile networks, this project in Yemen is very significant for the Digis Squared team.

If we can do this in Yemen, we can do this anywhere.

Luanda, Angola

Turning now to the second half of the presentation: Angola on the southwest coast of Africa. A very different place, but with some surprising similarities in population size and age. Civil War-ravaged Angola for 27 years until it finally ended in 2002.

Africell’s mission

In January last year, 2021, Africell won a competitive international tender for a telecoms license. Their mission was simple: to provide innovative, affordable and reliable mobile services, and lead a digital transformation in Angola – a country which has experienced decades of stasis and under investment in the mobile sector.

Fast forward to November last year: after a competitive international tender, Africell awarded Digis Squared a multi-year contract to provide end to end Managed Services to support their launch.

We moved fast. We created a local legal entity, set up an office, and in just one month mobilised and hired forty-four engineers, from Angola locally and across Africa.

Digis Squared has worked with Africell Group in other OpCos – in DRC, Sierra Leone and The Gambia, plus Uganda in the past – delivering enhancements to radio, core and VAS.

In Angola the end to end Managed Services contract covers everything from field to full NOC, all aspects of Radio, Core, BSS, VAS and field managed services, across the entire brand new network.

In April this year, the Africell Angola 4G mobile network went commercially live. Within 6 months Africell Angola had over 5 million subscribers. This is a significant success together for Africell and Digis Squared, and a significant transformation in service for subscribers.

5G boost to economy & innovation

In July, just 4 months after launch, we supported Africell in publicly demo’ing 5G for the first time in Angola, reaching speeds of 1 gigabit per second. 

Angola has one of the most advanced economies in sub-Saharan Africa, and the future rollout of 5G and private networks has the potential to boost the economy, drive innovation, security and performance even further.

Working together, we are looking forward to enabling that future 5G transformational capability.

Connecting communities

Today, network rollout is progressing and soon Africell Angola will expand to include cities and regions outside Luanda.

This project has been technically complex in scale and ambition, but the impact on people’s lives, and the ability to deliver change is very real.

Mobile services in Angola have never been faster, lower cost or more reliable.

Making change happen, together

Africell launched services in Angola in April this year with a promise to shake up the telecoms sector and lead a nationwide digital transformation.

As the first new mobile operator in almost two decades, the introduction of fresh competition has already led to improved network quality and security, reduced prices and increased consumption, and is delivering benefits for digital inclusion, education and healthcare.

Whilst Digis Squared has worked in over 25 countries in Africa and the Middle East, this project was our first in Angola, a new country and culture for us, and Africell.

Investing in the local team, using our solid existing processes and automated AI tools, balancing expertise in country, with experienced staff in our other offices when needed, we’ve been successful in setting up and delivering quickly, and delivering on schedule.

Africell Angola promised to change and make change happen, and together, we’ve done that.  


And what have we learnt from these projects?

  • Working in an almost war-zone is hard, but can be done.
  • Finding balance between staff in country, and a remote GNOC helps ensure stability, robustness and continuity.
  • Clear focus on aligned mission, and trust in working together is vital to success.
  • Building strong local teams, and investing in and enhancing skills, competence development and training, is really important to the way in which we work, and a clear commitment from the Digis Squared team to the project, the client, and the country we are working in.
  • In such a competitive market we are the only non-Network Equipment Manufacturer delivering end to end Managed Services, covering preventive and corrective maintenance in the field, up to full NOC including core, billing, charging and VAS.

When we are driven by the power of connecting people, together we can achieve anything.

With thanks to Africell, and Y-Tel.

As presented by Gwen Edwards, Digis Squared’s Marketing Director, at MWC Africa 2022.

If you or your team would like to discover more about our Managed Services capabilities, please get in touch: use this link or email


Discover more


Image credits



About Digis Squared

Managed Services, System Integration & Consulting.

We transform telecom networks, deploy new technologies, and manage vendors, for network operators, service providers and regulators. Apply our vendor-agnostic expertise, automated AI-led tools and processes to transform your technical and commercial capabilities. We work with agility, deep experience, and our in-house cognitive tools to optimise and manage multi-vendor networks across all technologies.

Headquartered in the UK, Digis Squared has offices in Angola, Egypt and UAE.

Digis Squared ◦ Enabling smarter networks.

Digis Squared & Private Networks

Yasser Elsabrouty, Digis Squared Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder, shares updates on the Private Network approach Digis Squared is undertaking for clients, and developments in the pipeline. But first, what is a Private Network?


What is a Private Network?

Built specifically for individual businesses or organisations, these dedicated LTE or 5G networks have typically been envisaged for mission-critical or highly secure environments. Increasingly however, businesses are deploying them to ensure robust coverage and capacity, reinforce intellectual property protection, and deliver commercial independence from the major network operators and CSPs within their physical business campus-environment.

Private Networks can be deployed in many different shapes and sizes, using various mix and match combinations of spectrum, applications and other factors.


  • Dedicated, on-premise networks for both radio access network and core network
  • Hybrid use of some public mobile components plus dedicated on-premise components


  • Industrial: in some countries, regulators allocate specific licensed spectrum (Germany and Japan for example)
  • Shared: regulators allocate spectrum which is shared by multiple stakeholders, under license
  • Public: MNOs or CSPs lease part of their licensed spectrum to an enterprise for a fee
  • Unlicensed spectrum: assigned by the regulator, non-exclusive, free-to-use



Digis Squared & Private Networks

Digis Squared provides end-to-end System Integration services across multiple technologies including RAN, 4G/5G Core, Security, Messaging and Cloud, covering design, installation, testing, managed services operations.

Yasser Elsabrouty, Digis Squared Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder shares insights into the Private Network activity of the team.

“At Digis Squared, we are providing end to end Consultancy and System Integration services to build private networks to meet our customers’ needs. We work very flexibly with our clients – some know exactly what they need, and will ask Digis Squared to manage the System Integration, deployment and operational aspects of their pre-defined project. Others ask us to define all end to end elements: the deployment model, Spectrum, Radio details, Core network, orchestration and applications. Our teams are able to work with considerable flexibility, and according to the customer’s requirements and use cases to ensure they have and optimised Private Network which meets their needs.”

“We also offer predefined mix and match ‘off the shelf’ models that can be used as a starting point, and then adapt and deploy for the specific, customised and bespoke needs of each customer. We can take into account their specific requirements, including the size of the facility, devices deployed, which machines need to communicate with which departments, and other considerations. Some clients are looking at Private Networks to resolve specific coverage issues, or explore latency management for time-sensitive networks (TSNs). Whatever the scope of the Private Network, project our teams are enabling customers to scale up their businesses, serving more customers and satisfying the ever-increasing demand for private networks.ֿ”

“Using this mix-and-match method, we are developing profiles for different kinds of customers that can easily be implemented as needed, depending on size, area, number of sensors and cameras, or any other parameter. This approach will save time in deploying systems for customers, serving more customers while ensuring top-quality, optimised installations.”



If you would like to arrange a dedicated time to talk with the team, please get in touch,



Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

We transform telecom networks, deploy new technologies, and manage vendors, for operators, service providers and regulators.

Apply our expertise, automated AI-led tools and processes to transform your technical and commercial capabilities. We work with agility, deep experience, and our in-house cognitive tools to optimise and manage multi-vendor networks across all technologies.


Discover more


Image credit: Sarah Doffman (Birmingham)

Digis Squared sponsors UK 5G Showcase 2022

“The Digis Squared team are pleased to be sponsoring the live platform for the UK 5G Showcase event, enabling even more people globally to join this sold-out event,” shared Marketing Director Gwen Edwards. “We welcome the opportunity to meet in-person with other innovators and leaders in the 5G, Open RAN and Private Networks sector. We’ll be happy to discuss some of the System Integration and Interoperability Testing work we are undertaking for our clients.”

If you would like to arrange a dedicated time to talk with the team, please get in touch,

The UK’s 5G Showcase – Realising the transformative potential of 5G, 22nd to 23rd March 2022, Birmingham, UK. Organised by CW (Cambridge Wireless) on behalf of 5GUK and The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)The UK’s 5G Showcase conference and exhibition is a two-day event aimed at senior change-makers and decision-makers from industry, the investment community, government, industry and the public sector from the UK and across the globe.

Discover more about the event, and access it for free online, here.

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.

We transform telecom networks, deploy new technologies, and manage vendors, for operators, service providers and regulators.

Apply our expertise, automated AI-led tools and processes to transform your technical and commercial capabilities. We work with agility, deep experience, and our in-house cognitive tools to optimise and manage multi-vendor networks across all technologies. With Private Network, 5G and OpenRAN deployment expertise and tools, we are ready to support UK 5G deployment.

Discover more,

Image credit: Sarah Doffman (Birmingham)

INOS 5G ◦ Now more than ever, test and optimise your 5G network

INOS ◦ now with 5G & multi-vendor chipset support

Enhanced 5G benchmarking and testing capability, OpenRAN functionality testing, and multi-vendor 5G chipset support, the latest major new features added to INOS ensure clients have access to valuable commercial capability.

INOS – the independent telecoms network benchmarking, drive-test and in-building solution developed in-house at Digis Squared – has just been enhanced to deliver major new features to our telecom operator, CSP* and Regulatory clients, including those managing Private Networks. These new features deliver significant new capability to uncover and resolve even more telecom network issues, and enhance customer QoE and network QoS.

“The new 5G INOS features announced today will help MNOs better understand and optimise their network performance, including in deployments with complex multi-vendor architectures and OpenRAN. This is great news for our clients needing Covid-19 safe solutions to optimise their 5G infrastructure, for Regulators working to obtain an independent view of total network performance, and ultimately to the end customer seeking a better connection.”

AbdulRahman Fady, Digis Squared CTO

New 5G capability

  • Extending the range of network testing capabilities, the new enhancements add 5G to our 2G, 3G, 4G and IoT (CAT-M, NB-IoT 1, NB-IoT 2) network capability, across voice, video, data and OTT
  • The new INOS 5G complete testing set gives you visibility of more than two hundred different network KPIs
  • 5G benchmarking solution gives you full visibility of network QoS and customer QoE
  • 5G L3, L2 and L1 signalling capability
  • 5G fully automated single site verification drive testing solution
  • 5G indoor (in-building survey) testing capability.

Extended handset support

  • Now supporting multi-vendor 5G chipsets: Huawei, Samsung and Qualcomm flagship mobiles.

O-RAN support

  • OpenRAN functionality testing, end to end, from radio through to interoperability and benchmark testing between OpenRAN and Legacy RAN
  • Ensures you can pin-point which component in your multi-vendor ecosystem needs to be optimised or investigated further.

Cloud control – for instant updates, and Covid-19 safety

  • Our cloud-controlled INOS automated testing platform delivers both drive testing, and in building survey data, enabling operators and service providers to efficiently obtain the insights needed for key decisions.
  • Our tools need just one person in the vehicle or building – no engineers are needed on-site, ensuring that they can do their work safely and together we can keep our communities connected.
  • Detailed, actionable automated reports are generated within just 15 minutes after tests are completed.
  • Additionally, our real-time-view ensures you can immediately take action to address performance issues, and optimise your capability whilst engineers are still in the field. Make adjustments, OTA update test parameters and re-run your analysis swiftly.

Independent telecoms network analysis and benchmarking just got smarter.

Know your strengths, and weaknesses, across all network technologies. Now more than ever, ensure you know the capability, performance, quality of experience and coverage of your voice and data networks, and that of your competitors, so that you can optimise your assets efficiently. Discover more about how INOS can help you, here.

Now more than ever, test and optimise your 5G network.

To discuss how our independent tools and vendor-agnostic expertise can help your business, please use this link or email to arrange an informal chat.

Keep up to speed with company updates, product launches and our quarterly newsletter, sign up here.

Digis Squared, independent telecoms expertise.


  • CSP: Communications Service Providers
  • INOS: Intelligent Network Optimisation Solution, one of Digis Squared’s AI-led automated tools.
  • MNO: Mobile Network Operator
  • OpenRAN: via standardised radio interfaces and interoperability, hardware and software components from multiple vendors operate over network interfaces that are “open and interoperable”
  • QoE: Quality of Experience
  • QoS: Quality of Service

Image credit: Tim Trad