Africa - Convergence, IP Networks, WiMAX With poor fixed-line network infrastructure in most African countries, the extent of Next Generation Networks (NGN) and services on the continent is still limited. There are, however, some encouraging developments. Several countries have launched broadband initiatives and are rolling out dedicated IP networks and new fibre optic links. Given the still large amounts of unsatisfied demand for basic voice services in Africa, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a primary application at this stage, and this technology is now gaining ground on the continent following steady improvements in Internet bandwidth, deregulation in several countries and the growing number of VoIP service providers entering the market. At least four operators in Africa are currently planning to launch converged triple-play (voice, data and video) services. WiMAX technology, currently being rolled out in at least six African countries, will enable the continent to leapfrog straight to wireless NGNs at affordable cost.
Last Update: 7 Mar 2006 Number of Pages: 23
Africa - Data, Internet and Broadband Markets Africa's data traffic is experiencing strong growth, particularly in South Africa. VSAT has established itself as a viable option for networking as well as Internet connectivity. While Internet uptake is growing steadily, market penetration is still very low due to the lack of reliable phone lines. Nevertheless, several African countries have experienced triple-digit growth rates in Internet usage in recent years. Various broadband initiatives have been launched and the number of African countries offering commercial ADSL reached 21 in 2005. Wireless access technologies are increasingly being used as a substitute for poor or non-existing fixed-line infrastructures. Several trials of WiMAX technology are going on which is expected to deliver a major boost to connectivity in Africa. VoIP telephony is starting to take off after a number of countries have introduced far-reaching liberalisation measures.
Last Update: 24 Sep 2006 Number of Pages: 23
Africa - Digital Media & Convergence Broadcasting is an integral part of Africa's development and a means of communication over the vast areas of the continent. Improvements in broadband infrastructure and the emergence of Third Generation (3G) mobile systems are now opening the way to convergence of digital media and telecommunications. With far greater ownership of TV sets compared to PCs in Africa, the broadcasters' viewers represent a huge potential customer base for Internet services as well. Interactive TV, especially the variety using mobile phone text messages (SMS), has found its way to Africa and is growing fast. The Personal Video Recorder (PVR) was introduced in South Africa in 2005 and will become available in other African countries in 2006. At least four African countries are currently trialing or planning to introduce Broadband TV and Video-on-Demand services, typically converged with voice and data services under so-called Triple-Play models.
Last Update: 20 Mar 2006 Number of Pages: 19
Africa - Mobile & Satellite Communications Africa's mobile market is among the fastest-growing in the world, again gaining more than 70% in the first three quarters of 2005 alone. The fact that 14 African countries have achieved triple-digit compound annual growth rates (CAGR) for the past five years shows that this growth is not just short-lived. As early as 2001, Africa became the first continent as a whole where mobile phones outnumbered fixed telephone lines, which individually is the case in most African countries today. Every country on the continent now has at least one mobile network in operation. Mobile penetration broke through the 10% barrier in 2005 and exceeded 13% by September, with several countries reaching more than 50%. The first Third Generation (3G) mobile systems were launched in Africa in 2004. This report provides an overview of Africa's mobile sector and services along with profiles of the major pan-African mobile operators and the providers of satellite mobile services.
Last Update: 16 Mar 2007 Number of Pages: 22
Africa - Telecommunications Market, Regulatory and Infrastructure Overview While being the worlds most rapidly growing market for mobile telephony and also home to the fastest growing fixed telephony markets in the world, Africa still has the world's lowest penetration rates and basic telephony provision remains a major need in many parts of the continent, particularly in rural areas. Many African countries are undergoing sectoral reform and foreign investors are scrambling for positions in this very lucrative market as privatisation and liberalisation are progressively being introduced. Explosive growth in the mobile sector has seen the number of mobile phones outnumber fixed lines in most African countries and in early 2006 mobile users constituted more than 80% of all African telephone subscribers. Other wireless solutions are also used to serve as substitutes for inadequate fixed-line infrastructure. A surge in demand for Internet access and broadband capabilities is expected to drive these developments further in the coming years. Overall, Africa's telecoms future looks very promising and offers great opportunities to service providers, equipment vendors and investors.
Last Update: 3 Mar 2006 Number of Pages: 20