Connect with us

Featured

Fixed broadband in Africa to treble in next 5 years

Published

on

Fixed broadband subscriptions in Sub Saharan Africa are estimated to be 6.6 million. This market is expected to grow by up to three-fold by 2023 according to Ovum, a London based global technology research and advisory firm.

This brings increased opportunities for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to fill the connectivity void and to benefit commercially by driving up data usage and growing revenues on their networks with Fixed-Wireless Access (also known as fixed-wireless broadband or WTTx).

Fixed wireless access has emerged as one of the most significant growth drivers around the world, as explosive user growth is seen in both developed markets like Japan, Germany and Italy as well as Emerging countries like South Africa, Philippines and Mexico. Many believe that eventually 5G FWA will have a significant impact on fixed broadband just as 2G had on fixed voice more than 20 years ago. Case in point, according to a financial report issued by Telkom in South Africa, its WTTx new subscriber base increased by 340 thousand in the fiscal year 2018, beating 35 thousand new fibre users.

The Ovum report, titled Fixed-Wireless Access Drives Broadband Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, finds that Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers. However, strong demand for broadband connectivity in SSA is not being adequately addressed by wireline technologies such as XDSL and fiber.

In addition to providing internet connectivity for remote and rural populations, FWA can do much to support the growth of digital media, provide the wider population with access to government services and meet the demands of businesses for high-quality broadband services.

Julian Bright, a senior analyst at OVUM and the author of the report says Sub-Saharan Africa’s legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers.

“Coupled with the speed of growth and the clear appetite for new digital-media and internet-based services among consumers, among businesses and the public sector, this calls for broadband solutions that are cost-effective and can be quickly deployed. Where the economics are favorable, FWA provides an effective complement to or even substitute for, fixed wireline connectivity. Further opportunities for FWA will continue to open up as operators and service providers in the region realize the benefits of LTE-based FWA.”

FWA advantages

Fixed-wireless access can provide a low-cost, shorter time-to-market, practical and high-performance alternative. Deployment of FWA is less complex and less costly than wireline and subscribers can be brought onto the network more quickly than with fiber, which can lead to a fast return on investment for ISPs.

FWA meets many of the criteria for affordable broadband connectivity, particularly when compared to less economic options such as fiber and copper. It provides ISPs with incentives to invest in covering sparsely populated or remote areas as well as suburban environments, by lowering the cost and shortening the payback period.

According to industry intelligence, more than 40 carriers in SSA have launched FWA service in partnership with suppliers like Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. The number of subscribers of FWA service in SSA has reached 3.5 million.

In South Africa, Telkom has been working with Huawei since 2015 and has seen rapid business growth driven by WTTx. Telkom’s interim results for the six months ended September 30, 2018 , shows a dramatic increase in mobile broadband subscribers (66.8%), traffic (120%), and Average Revenue Per User (12.8%). Its fixed-wireless access and Wi-Fi continues to perform well, with a 22.1% growth to over 962,000 subscribers. The report attributes the increase to the “Deal of the month”, improved quality and the footprint expansion of its LTE network.

“WTTx gives carriers fast access to home broadband markets, allows them to quickly build up their coverage and enable them to offer triple play services,” says David Chen, Vice President Huawei Southern Africa.

“We are excited by the findings of this report as it gives credence to what we see as a quick win for operators in SSA,” Chen adds.

Price Flexibility is Key

Home broadband networks, whether fiber, DSL, or FWA are subject to the same limiting factors; population density, subscriber take rates, Average Revenue Per User, CPE device cost and availability, network contention or oversubscription rate and labor costs.

The Ovum report emphasizes that key for operators to make FWA services more accessible and affordable for users are, the application of flexible tariff choices and manageable CPE costs. A high-end terminal leads to an increase in user acquisition costs, despite the fact that it increases the FWA capacity and reduces the cost per line. Low-cost, low-end terminals are more suitable to bring down the cost for consumers for the popularity of FWA services.

In addition, an operator offering lower-priced FWA packages with more affordable CPE is also targeting mobile customers who currently use their 4G service to provide a home broadband connection.

Speaking to Huawei’s WTTx offerings, Bright says, “Huawei has built its WTTx fixed wireless access business into a key component of its wireless broadband portfolio. Huawei’s FWA strategy also differs from that of its competitors in that it places WTTx as part of its mobile products line rather than part of its fixed broadband offering.”

Huawei’s WTTx solution has been recognized by the International Telecommunications Union as an innovative technical solution that improves global ICT indexes and speeds up the development of broadband connections.

Continue Reading

Featured

ME and Africa Consumer tech spending to hit $149bn

Reaching $130bn this year, consumer spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow just 4% a year.

Published

on

Consumer spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is forecast to total $130.8 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 4.1%. According to the latest Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), consumer purchases of traditional and emerging technologies will remain strong over the 2019–2023 forecast period, increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% to reach $149.4 billion in 2023.

86.3% of all consumer technology spending in 2019 will be on traditional technologies such as mobile phones, personal computing devices, and mobile telecom services. Mobile telecom services (voice and data) will account for 68.7% of this amount, followed by mobile phones which will account for 26.6%. Spending growth for traditional technologies will be relatively slow, with a CAGR of 2.4% for the 2019–2023 forecast period.

“Faster connectivity, combined with declining data service costs from telecom service providers and the need for end users to use telecom services for an increasing number of devices, will ensure that consumer spending on traditional technologies will continue to grow,” says Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Emerging technologies, including AR/VR headsets, drones, on-demand services, robotic systems, smart home devices, and wearables, will deliver strong growth with a five-year CAGR of 10.2%. This growth will see emerging technologies account for 17.1% of overall consumer spending in 2023, up from 13.7% in 2019. Smart home devices and on-demand services will account for around 93% of consumer spending on emerging technologies by the end of the forecast period.

“The low penetration of smart home devices in the region, combined with growing efforts from market players to educate home users on the benefits and usage of these devices, will serve as an engine of growth for consumer spending on emerging technologies,” says Charakla. “A large portion of end users are already looking to invest in devices that will improve their productivity and quality of life, two key demands that smart home devices can be positioned to fulfil.”

On-demand services represent a new addition to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide. “On-demand services enable access to networks, marketplaces, content, and other resources in the form of subscription-based services and includes platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, among others,” says Charakla. “As connected consumers juggle multiple services across their devices, it is essential for technology providers to understand how the adoption of these various technologies and services will impact their customers’ experiences in the future.”

Communication and entertainment will be the two largest use case categories for consumer technology, representing more than 79% of all spending throughout the forecast. More than 70% of all communication spending will go toward traditional voice and messaging services in 2019. Entertainment spending will be dominated by watching or downloading TV, videos and movies, as well as listening to music and downloading and playing online games. The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the forecast period are augmented reality games (49.5% CAGR).

The Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide quantifies consumer spending for 22 technologies in ten categories across nine geographic regions. The guide also provides spending details for 23 consumer use cases. Unlike any other research in the industry, the Connected Consumer Spending Guide was designed to help business and IT decision makers to better understand the scope and direction of consumer investments in technology over the next five years.

Continue Reading

Featured

Could robots replace human tennis players?

Published

on

While steeped in tradition, tennis has embraced technology on multiple fronts: coaching, umpiring and fan experiences. Since the early 2000s, the Sony-owned Hawk-Eye system has been assisting tennis umpires in making close calls. At Wimbledon, IBM’s Watson AI analyses fan and player reactions in real-time video footage from matches to create highlight reels just minutes after the end of a match.

Meanwhile, at the ATP Finals in London, similar data analysis is being carried out by digital services and consulting firm Infosys.

GlobalData’s Verdict deputy editor Rob Scammell hears the future of tennis discussed at a recent panel discussion about the use of data analytics and technology in the game.

Scammel writes: “Infosys has been partnered with ATP for five years, providing features such as its cloud-based platform, which leverages artificial intelligence to analyse millions of data points to gain insights into the game.

“Players and coaches can also make use of the Infosys’ Players and Coaches Portal, allowing them to “slice and dice” matches on an iPad with 1,000 data analytics combinations. This is data crunching is vital according to Craig O’Shannessy, strategy analyst for the ATP World Tour and a coach for 20 years – including for the likes of Novak Djokovic. 

O’Shannessy says: “Video and data analytics is crucial for giving players an edge. It’s about finding out of 100 points, the 10 or 15 that matter the most, and explaining that these are the patterns of play that you want to repeat in these upcoming games to win those matches.”

However, although Chris Brauer, director of innovation at the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, asked whether the “inevitable conclusion” of technological innovations in tennis was removing humans from the game entirely. ATP chair umpire and manager Ali Nili suggested that while there could one day be robot players adjudicated by robot umpires, it would be an entirely different sport.

Nili told GlobalData: “At ATP, we’re most proud of our athletes. It’s our athletes which make the tennis exciting. It’s how fast they are, how strong they are being. As humanbeings, we compare them to us and we’re fascinated by the things that they’re able to do. They’re the number one attraction for anyone who comes in, watches tennis, and everything else is secondary, you know, all the data and everything else, because we try to make our athletes more appealing.”

Could robots replace human tennis players?

Raghavan Subramanian, associate vice president and head of Infosys Tennis Platform, says it’s a “very philosophical question” and that we can look to the precedent set by other ‘man vs machine’ face-offs.

“In chess, we had [Garry] Kasparov play against the computer. So I think the natural first transition will not be two robots playing against each other, but one robot, possibly playing against the best player today. That’s the first possible bridge before two robots play.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 World Wide Worx