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Undersea cables, WiMax to boost Africa’s broadband penetration: Pyramid

Total broadband users in Africa to reach 92 million in 2015

By CBR Staff Writer

Driven by improvements in the terrestrial backbones and last-mile networks, the new undersea cables surrounding Africa will boost the broadband penetration rate from 3.2% in 2010 to 6.8% in 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The market researcher said that the new undersea cables will drive the growth of total broadband users in Africa from 40 million in 2010 to 92 million in 2015 at a CAGR of 18%.

It predicts that the revenue will increase at a CAGR of 16% in the same period to $20bn, with WiMax taking centre stage in the coverage for the last-mile access and its access lines.

Pyramid Research said that tiered pricing strategies designed by undersea cable operators for smaller capacities and shorter durations, such as that announced by EASSy (Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System), will improve competitiveness in the AME region.

Kerem Arsal, analyst at Pyramid Research, said: "We predict that WiMax will grow at a CAGR of 30% between 2010 and 2015; we also foresee similar trends in mobile broadband, particularly in the data cards/modems.

"Many African telecom markets have the potential to improve their poor broadband penetration rates and limited revenues and transform their competitive structures; however, there is still much work to be done by the players across the telecom value chain if they wish to take full advantage of this opportunity."

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