Africa to lead bandwidth growth

Technology & Convergence

By 2019, African countries combined will consume more than 17Tbit/s of bandwidth, but this will still be less than Canada.

New research by TeleGeography shows Africa will lead the world in international bandwidth demand in coming years.

The data, from the company’s global bandwidth forecast service, suggests that demand for international bandwidth from Africa will rise at a compound annual rate of 51% between 2012 and 2019.

At that rate, African demand will outpace that of both Latin America and the Middle East, which are each projected to rise 37% annually, Telegeography says.

“Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially, will contribute to the continent’s appetite for international bandwidth. Among those with the fastest growing demand are Angola, which is projected to grow 71% annually over the next seven years, Tanzania, which is projected to grow 68%, and Gabon, which is expected to rise 67%.”

The company says that although Africa’s demand for international bandwidth is growing rapidly, it remains “very small” when compared to other parts of the world.

“African demand is projected to reach 17,2Tbit/s in 2019, which equates to only a quarter the projected demand of Latin America, and less than that of Canada alone.

“Nevertheless, international capacity connected to Africa will increase tremendously via upgrades to existing submarine cable systems and new cable builds, and bandwidth prices on these routes will fall accordingly,” it says.

“The price of a 10Gbit/s wavelength between Johannesburg and London in 2019 is projected to be less than a quarter of the 2012 price. Moreover, as bandwidth buyers move to larger circuits, they will be able to obtain greater volume discounts, compounding the effect of bandwidth price declines.”  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media