Industry report shines light on African undersea cables
Last year, we came across first edition of the Submarine Telecoms Industry Report, a new resource for the latest in global undersea telecommunications news and outlooks. The annual report provides a snapshot of the state of the many sectors within the 150+ year-old industry. In addition, the publication helps others recognize how important undersea fibre optic communication cables are to the global economy.
Beautifully enough, the report is written at a level for everyone to understand. Quite a few sections mention the past, present, and future of African fibre optic cables. Notably:
- Total lit capacity in Sub-Saharan African submarine cable systems has increased by 71% annually over the last five years. (59)
- Challenges facing the African wholesale capacity market: limited fixed broadband deployment compared to other markets, slow growth of mobile Internet (still mostly 2G), strong control over terrestrial backhaul segments limits submarine capacity distribution. (60)
- Proposed SSA cable systems: Atlantic Cable System-Africa, BRICS Cable, South Atlantic Cable System, South Atlantic Express, WASACE South. (61)
- Additional opportunities for undersea investment exist where only one fibre optic undersea cable serves the markets of Republic of the Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, and Sierra Leone. (73)
The outlook for African submarine cables is very favorable given the profitability of national telecommunications operators. The main challenge continues to be deploying local fibre networks that are able to connect international capacity to national backbones, and in turn, last mile fibre to the home.
Source: “Submarine Telecoms Industry Report, Issue 2,” Terabit Consulting, Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc., March 2013.