25 May 2018

Africa: Terrestrial Fibre Still Mother of All Bottlenecks in Africa, Experts Reveal

Experts at the Africa Session of the International Telecoms Week conference in Chicago have described terrestrial fibre constraints as the mother of all bottlenecks hindering increased Internet penetration on the continent.

During his presentation on the theme "Enabling Content on the African Continent", Chief Executive Officer of research firm, Xalam Analytics, Guy Zibi analyzed the African digital journey, highlighting dramatic changes that have altered the dynamics of the digital transformation of the continent.

According to him, the international capacity challenge has been solved, with most coastal countries exhibiting an oversupply of subsea cables serving the continent.

However, he noted that the reach of such capacity was still limited due to limitations in the availability of terrestrial open-access fibre which remains extremely low in most markets especially Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania among others.

These limitations have translated into retail connectivity prices as a proportion of income being 2X more expensive in Africa compared to Latin America and the Caribbean and 3X when compared to Asia.

Zibi highlighted the dangers of deepening the continent's digital divide with services limited to narrow addressable markets and Africa's inability to fully partake in the fourth industrial revolution.

He reiterated the need for more aggressive deployment of terrestrial infrastructure, especially in metropolitan and local networks to reach the end users and enhance affordability.

A panel that included high-level representation from Orange, MTN GlobalConnect, MainOne and Kwese challenged African policy makers to proffer incentives to encourage the deployment of broadband infrastructure of scale to support the rollout of much needed infrastructure to rural areas.

The Africa Panel session at ITW was sponsored by MainOne for the 7th year in a row and continues to provide a platform for players to share perspectives on the opportunities and challenges across the region with a global audience.

The discussions focused on infrastructure challenges as well as regulatory and economic constraints that impede increased internet access and proliferation of broadband across the continent.

Nigeria

Sublime Soul Diva Who Demanded Respect, Which Will be Forever Given

It is no coincidence that two of Aretha Franklin’s celebrated contemporaries who travelled to Detroit to see the… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Guardian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.