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By Citizen Reporter


Better internet connection, lower prices for bandwidth recorded in Africa

There was a significant increase in the capacity of the African telecommunication network between 2016 and last year, resulting in better internet connections and lower prices for bandwidth, says a recently updated telecoms research report.

The report – by TeleGeography, a leading telecom market intelligence and research provider – says the expansion provides opportunities for content delivery networks (CDNs), cloud services and software-as-a-service providers in Africa’s ever-expanding connectivity landscape.

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The expanded capacity in both subsea cable and terrestrial fibre has translated into large IP bandwidth growth, price declines in bandwidth, growth in localised data centres and, as a result, enhanced connectivity and improved user experiences.

The report described this as a “healthy, growing telecommunication ecosystem”.

Subsea cable, terrestrial fibre and data centre investments are making Africa the top-growing bandwidth market globally, with projected compound growth of 42% between 2022 and 2029, surpassing the global average projections of 32%.

Content providers have experienced 80% compound annual growth rates in African bandwidth between 2018 and 2022.

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Introducing new submarine cable systems is expected to increase capacity for coastal and landlocked countries, increase the number and size of intra-African routes, decrease transit prices along key African routes, and boost localised digital content growth.

The report highlights that despite the historical internet traffic routes from Europe to Africa, South Africa has become a growing regional hub for intra-Africa internet capacity, with the percentage of traffic servicing sub-Saharan Africa becoming more intra-Africa than traditionally serviced from Europe.

As Internet Exchange Points, CDNs, points of presence and data centre construction sparks the growth of new ecosystems within Africa, the internet edge moves ever closer to African end-users, with significant transit hubs within Africa, assuming prominence over Europe.

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Intra-Africa capacity within sub-Saharan Africa being serviced from South Africa has exploded between 2016 and 2022, with compound growth of over 50% per annum, with South Africa entrenching its position as the content hub for Africa.

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