HOW BROADBAND, MOBILE PHONES DEVELOP AFRICA, BY ALVARION BOSS
By Prince Osuagwu
Even as a large percentage of the African population are yet to make their first phone call, many others are connected to the world through their cell phones. Today, the penetration of mobile phones in many African countries is higher than the world average and data on the number of mobile subscriptions per 100 people show that penetration rates in Algeria, South Africa, Gabon, Tunisia, Mauritius, Botswana, Morocco and Mauritania are all above the world average of 60%.
According to the Managing Director of Alvarion Southern Africa and Nigeria, Winston Smith, 'these increasing connectivity levels are key to the development of the continent.
Having access to wireless broadband internet via mobile devices gives students the ability to access knowledge and training, gives producers access to the global market and gives companies access to a vital business tool,' he added.
For him, Africa's lack of fibre optic cable makes fixed line internet connectivity very challenging, and increases the opportunities for wireless broadband operators.
While there are a number of fibre optic cable projects underway to deliver cable to Africa, fixed line connectivity is not going to be able to reach the masses.