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Broadband fulfilling the promise of communications in Africa and Middle East

by david.nunes

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Connect-World ICT Magazine, Telecom Magazine

Connect-World, the information and communication technology (ICT) decision makers’ magazine. We are the decision makers’ forum for ICT driven development.

Africa and the Middle East 2012
9th January 2013

Dear Reader,

The Africa and Middle East Region, though not homogeneous, still shares the promise of broadband to enhance the economy and bring prosperity to its under-developed and under-served people. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by United Nations can only be met if broadband is fully supported, and the regulatory environment is in place. There is still much to do, reallocating spectrum, sharing infrastructure, ensuring compatibility and encouraging coverage for remote areas.

The promise of broadband for the region is undisputable. The effect of broadband is far greater than in the developed world. It has the power of transforming poor and uneducated population by bringing knowledge and information – to each person individually. It allows better health care with remote expertise at hand. It allows the unbanked to transact and exchange money and farmers to be guided with timely weather and market news. Broadband is a lifeline in Africa, not a luxury.

In large metropolitan areas, broadband is best delivered by fibre and Metro Ethernet is now installed for large enterprises. Such infrastructure investments pay off with reduced crime, to give but one example, in the regions’ expanding mega cities. The submarine cable brings international connectivity to African’s countries, allowing not only international business to flourish, but also better flow of information to what was before isolated culture.

Reaching remotest areas has become easier, as the pace of mobile devices penetration astounds observers. Satellite broadband service needs no costly terrestrial infrastructure, and its terminals and technologies have just got smaller, more efficient and consequently more cost-effective. Particularly important is the fact that satellite broadband is not biased towards urban centres, thus greatly benefiting the rural population.

Satellite communication is also critical to resolving the rising pirating problems around the African coast. Special solutions are now available, that are installed in fortified ‘citadels’ on board, allowing alerting patrolling warships to come to the rescue.

However, the cost factor is still paramount in the region. While adoptions rates are souring, operators need to keep costs down. Using smart tools to observe the network and learn what users really want is essential in order to get the best out of the infrastructure. Good analytics can reveal that congestion is not necessarily caused by ‘long-session’ users, so only imposing quotas may not help, but dynamic visibility of network nodes and particular users can do a better job at ensuring fair usage.

We are pleased to send this complimentary electronic version of the latest issue of Connect-World Africa and the Middle East 2012 for your enjoyment and information.

ICT is changing our world. Can you keep up with the changes? Can you follow how these changes transform the way people live and do business? Let Connect-World help you.

Connect-World, a ‘must read’ magazine directed at all the top regional and global ICT sector decision makers – users and providers alike of ICT services and products, highlights the needs of each of the world’s regions and encourages constructive discussion of ICT issues and the challenges and opportunities they bring.

To access this issue of Connect-World Africa and the Middle East 2012, just click on the link below.

Africa and the Middle East 2012
Africa and the Middle East 2012
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Magazine regions

Africa and the Middle East
Latin America
North America

This issue is devoted to Broadband fulfilling the promise of communications and features the following articles by sector leaders:


We hope you enjoy it.

Stuart Sharrock

Stuart Sharrock
Editorial Consultant

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