New map charts the spread of network fibre transmission across Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing the most significant build-out of telecom transmission networks that it has ever seen. By July 2009, fixed line and alternative operators had over 400,000-km of terrestrial transmission network which was either operational, under construction, planned or proposed. Laid end-to-end, that is enough to wrap around the world ten times.

Three factors continue to drive this roll-out: 1) the need to reach submarine cable landing points, to extend the reach of national backbones to reach secondary towns and cities, 3) increase the transmission capacity available for the delivery of broadband services.

The first edition of the Africa Telecom Transmission Map published by Hamilton Research is now available as an AO-sized poster wall map. It shows in a detail never seen before Africa's terrestrial, satellite and submarine cable transmission networks as at July 2009. These transmission networks underpin the delivery of all voice, data and Internet services within the region.

This map has taken over five years to research and produce. It shows the extent of national transmission backbones, the scope for rural connectivity, submarine cable systems, GSM coverage, status of terrestrial cross-border links, and the national and international backhaul routes to submarine cable landing points.

Using exploded-view diagrammatic mapping, it separates out the network infrastructure where different operators are building routes, by type of infrastructure (fibre or microwave), and by the status of that infrastructure (operational, under construction, planned or proposed).