Africa provides highest growth opportunities for broadband

Africa provides highest growth opportunities for broadband
Published: 30 September 2013
Mobile broadband is the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2013 edition of the ITU’s State of Broadband Report which was released on 21 September.

Released in New York at the 8th meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the report reveals that mobile broadband subscriptions, which allow users to access the web via smartphones, tablets and WiFi-connected laptops, are growing at a rate of 30% per year. By the end of 2013 there will be more than three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions, read the acc ompanying press release. The State of Broadband is a unique global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by country data measuring broadband access against the four key targets set by the 60 members of the Broadband Commission in 2011.

The Republic of Korea continues to have the world’s highest household broadband penetration at over 97%. Switzerland leads the world in fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, at over 40%. By comparison, the US ranks 24th in terms of household broadband penetration, and 20th in the world for fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Finland and ahead of Japan. In terms of internet use, there are now more than 70 countries where over 50% of the population is online. The top ten countries for internet use are all located in Europe, with the exception of New Zealand (8th) and Qatar (10th).

Significantly, notes the report, by the end of 2013, the number of broadband subscriptions in the developing world will exceed the number of broadband subscriptions in the developed world for the first time, in both fixed and mobile, respectively. Much of this fresh growth is located in emerging markets - Budde Communications (2013) notes that Africa is the region with the largest remaining growth potential in the world, and estimates that the market in telecom services will grow by 1.5 billion people, almost half the remaining market worldwide, by 2050. We thus expect the continent to continue to see increased investment in the ICT sector, as companies look to exploit the obvious opportunities.
- imara
Tags: Broadband,


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