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International Telecommunication Union HIPSSA Project Support for Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa An overview of the international.

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Presentation on theme: "International Telecommunication Union HIPSSA Project Support for Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa An overview of the international."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Telecommunication Union HIPSSA Project Support for Harmonization of the ICT Policies in Sub-Sahara Africa An overview of the international bandwidth market: An African perspective Isabelle Gross – Balancing Act

2 2 Table of contents Introduction Major changes in the international bandwidth market over the last 2 to 3 years The SAT3 experience International bandwidth: an essential element in the value chain of delivering affordable broadband services in Africa International bandwidth: the way forward for Africa

3 3 Introduction: Bandwidth is the petrol of the new global economy (rich content; e- commerce; e-government, etc… ) Affordable international bandwidth is an essential component for any African country to remain competitive in an more and more interconnected world.

4 4 Major changes in the international bandwidth market over the last 2 to 3 years International bandwidth went from scarcity to abundance International bandwidth is progressively switching from satellite to sub-marine fibre cables Several African countries will have for the first time a direct connection to international fibre capacity

5 5 International bandwidth went from scarcity to abundance CableTimingMaximum capacity East coast SeacomImplemented1.2 Tbps TEAMSImplemented1.2 Tbps EASSyImplemented1.4 Tbps LION1 and 2 implemented N/A West coast SAT Gbps Glo OneImplemented2.5 Tbps Main OneImplemented2 Tbps WACSQ3, Tbps ACEQ4, Tbps

6 6 International bandwidth is progressively switching from satellite to sub-marine fibre cables yes, in the coastal countries/cities but - national backbones needs still to be built out - landlocked countries need to be connected too

7 7 - in East Africa: all countries connected to Team, Seacom, EASSy or Lion - in West Africa: Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Sao&Principe, Equatorial Guinea - in Central Africa: Congo DRC, Congo, Namibia Several African countries will have for the first time a direct connection to international fibre capacity

8 8 The SAT3 experience Learning from the past is essential… … - mismanagement - artificial scarcity of bandwidth - high prices - major access issues

9 9 The SAT3 experience Learning from the past is essential… … - mismanagement: the case of Nitel in Nigeria (alternate exit route to SAT3 via Benin, the neighbouring country) - international capacity remained scare despite availability

10 10 The SAT3 experience Learning from the past is essential… … - prices were very high: +US$5,000 - it was very difficult to access international capacity because of the monopoly of the national incumbent on the international cable and landing station (Camtel in Cameroon; Benin Telecom in Benin, Telkom in South Africa, etc…)

11 11 International bandwidth: an essential element in the value chain of delivering affordable broadband services in Africa Most African countries have an ICT programme/plan Most ICT programmes/plans pledge to promote the delivery of affordable broadband services to the population Ask participants about the situation in their country?

12 12 International bandwidth: an essential element in the value chain of delivering affordable broadband services in Africa the value chain of delivering affordable broadband services can be schematically sliced down to 3 segments: - local access (access to the customer) - national link - international link (submarine cable and landing station)

13 13 International bandwidth: an essential element in the value chain of delivering affordable broadband services in Africa high prices and/or restricted access (monopoly) in any of these 3 segments will impair the delivery of affordable broadband services

14 14 International bandwidth: the way forward for Africa The goals are: - improve access to international capacity - make prices more affordable

15 15 International bandwidth: the way forward for Africa How to do it? - leave it to free market forces to play their role (possible in countries with more than 3 cables e.g. Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana) - regulation (essential in particular in countries with a single landing station) – the example of Liberia

16 16 Thanks a lot for your attention Union Internationale des Télécommunications International Telecommunication Union


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