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Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Data Traffic To Grow 12 times By 2025

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LTE Subscriptions To Reach 270 million

Mobile data traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to grow by 12 times the current figures, with total traffic increasing from 0.33 Exabytes (EB) per month to 4EB by 2025.

Meanwhile, average traffic per smartphone is expected to reach 7.1GB over the forecast period. These forecasts are included in the June 2020 edition of the Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) Mobility Report, along with projections for data traffic growth, and regional subscriptions.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, LTE accounted for around 11 per cent of subscriptions in 2019. Over the forecast period, mobile broadband subscriptions are predicted to increase, reaching 72 per cent of mobile subscriptions.

LTE share will reach around 30 per cent by the end of the forecast period, and LTE subscriptions are set to triple, increasing from 90 million in 2019 to 270 million in 2025.

Fadi Pharaon, President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, says: “Technology brings an unprecedented opportunity to address the challenges of sustainable economic development and improve the livelihood of people in Africa.

The latest edition of Ericsson’s Mobility Report highlights Africa as one of the fastest growing mobile markets and reiterates the need for a more efficient technology, higher data rates and availability of ample spectrum.

The Report highlights as well the importance of mobile and fixed networks as key components of critical national infrastructure to sustain and evolve emerging economies during remote work times.”

Driving factors behind the growth of mobile broadband subscriptions include a young and growing population with increasing digital skills, and more affordable smartphones. Over the forecast period, discernible volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching three per cent by 2025.

Value of Digital Infrastructure

The spread of COVID-19 during the first part of 2020 impacted all parts of society globally, including the telecommunications sector. The Ericsson Mobility Report takes an incisive look at the role of networks and digital infrastructure in keeping societies running in Africa, and families connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on people in many countries and their daily lives, but consumers see resilient networks as a vital help in coping with everyday life.

 In a recent study conducted by Ericsson Consumer Lab, 83 per cent of the respondents from 11 countries around the world claim that ICT helped them a lot to cope with the lockdown. The results show an increased adoption and usage of ICT services, such as e-learning and wellness apps, that have helped consumers adapt to new realities, underpinned by connectivity.

FWA takes an expanded role

Around half of all households in the world – over 1 billion – do not have a fixed broadband connection. Given the current speed and capacity of cellular networks with LTE, there are opportunities for African service providers to deliver broadband services to homes and small and medium-sized enterprises economically using Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

FWA delivered over 4G or 5G is a cost-efficient alternative to providing broadband in areas with limited access to fixed broadband services such as DSL, cable or fiber. Several factors are driving the FWA market in Africa and beyond: demand from consumers and businesses for digital services along with government-sponsored programs and subsidies. 

FWA connections are forecast to reach nearly 160 million by end of 2025 – generating about 25 per cent of global mobile network data traffic. At the end of 2019, global FWA data traffic was estimated to have been around 15 per cent of the global total. It is now projected to grow nearly 8 fold to reach 53 exabytes in 2025, representing 25 per cent of the global total mobile network data traffic.

The report also includes forecasts on data traffic growth, regional subscriptions plus insights into cloud-based gaming as well as in-depth articles on private dedicated networks and Verizon’s millimeter wave strategy for targeted metropolitan areas.

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Africa Region

Network International Taps Hany Fekry to Head Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa

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Network International Taps Hany Fekry to Head Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, SiliconNigeria

Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across the Middle East and Africa (MEA), has announced the appointment of Egyptian national Hany Fekry as Regional President – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In his new role, Hany will be responsible for all aspects of Network’s acquiring and issuing business in Egypt and Nigeria, and for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to drive Network’s business growth and increase digital payments adoption in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Hany joined Network in 2016 as Managing Director for Egypt and and Deputy Managing Director for Africa, leading the company’s business development activities across the Northern and Sub-Saharan region. Previously, he served as the Chief Commercial Officer of Emerging Markets Payments (EMP) Africa, which was acquired by Network International in 2016. Hany’s more than 20-year career has included developing business in markets including Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Nandan Mer, Group CEO of Network International, commented: “Building an effective payments infrastructure requires a thorough understanding of the needs of local merchant and issuer clients to address their pain points and build locally relevant payments solutions.

Since joining the team in 2016, Hany’s deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in digital payments adoption across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa has been instrumental in helping Network deliver customised and relevant solutions. I am confident he is the right person to strengthen our offering to clients, in addition to driving greater inclusion and building a stronger payments infrastructure in these fast-growing markets.”

Hany Fekry, Regional President – Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, added: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Network, with tremendous opportunities to accelerate the positive trends in digital payments across the region and increase financial inclusions. I look forward to helping build a best-in-class payment ecosystem that will support local merchants and financial institutions, and positively impact the economies across the Northern and Sub-Saharan African markets.”

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Digital Economy

Liquid Intelligent Accelerates Digital Economy in South Africa

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Liquid Intelligent Accelerates Digital Economy in South Africa, SiliconNigeria

 Liquid Intelligent Technologies (Liquid) South Africa, part of the leading pan-African technology group Liquid Intelligent Technology today, announces the successful completion of two key digital corridors – NLD5 and NLD6 connecting Durban to Cape Town via the inland route.

The completion of this fibre network will support the surging demand for high-speed internet as an increasing number of local businesses continue their digital transformation journeys. 

Increased access to high-speed fibre connectivity is critical to improving not just telecommunication services for millions of South Africans in the country. It will also bring substantial social and economic benefits to businesses and governments as the focus on the Fourth Industrial revolution increases.  This route forms part of the Southern corridor that Liquid has invested in connecting East to West Africa via a terrestrial network.

“The completion of these two digital corridors is yet another milestone achieved as part of our on-going investment into the South African economy. Liquid has been instrumental in the fruition of routes 1 through to 8, providing a digital backbone that connects metropolitan cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to more remote areas like Nelspruit Bloemfontein, Lady Smith, Mthatha.

“This is also part of our Group’s continued focus on bringing world-class digital services like Cloud, Unified Communications,  Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to local businesses in the public and private sectors,” said Deon Geyser, CEO Liquid Intelligent Technologies, South Africa.

Spanning over 1700 km, the near-unlimited capacity and greater redundancy offered on these digital corridors will positively impact numerous industries, especially educators and healthcare practitioners, as they increase their reach to the remotest parts of the country. Access to improved digital services will also impact the education system in the country as the government gears to empower more youth with digital skills as newer vocations develop through the 4IR. 

These routes symbolise Liquid’s high-level digital infrastructure capability and continued and unwavering commitment to steer and create sector growth opportunities aggressively whilst increasing its market share.

Liquid recently culminated its extensive business transformation from being a telecommunications and digital services provider to a full one-stop-shop technology group. This expansion is one more step that reiterates Liquid’s commitment towards improving customer service and delivery of products towards the wholesale, enterprise, and SMEs market in the country.

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Facebook Rolls Out Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Emerging Markets

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Facebook Rolls Out Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Emerging Markets, SiliconNigeria

Facebook has announced the launch of Instagram Lite to Sub-Saharan Africa, a new, lightweight version of the Instagram app for Android that uses less data and works well across all network conditions.

The new version of Instagram Lite for Android is less than 2MB in size, making it fast to install and quick to load. It also has improved speed, performance, and responsiveness. Instagram Lite not only works similarly to the Instagram app for Android, but it allows the Instagram experience to remain fast and reliable for more people, no matter what device, platform and network they use. 

Commenting on the rationale for introducing the app to Sub-Saharan Africa, Engineering Manager for Instagram Lite, Peter Shin said, “Connectivity in the region can be unstable, slow and expensive, making it challenging for people to have a high-quality Instagram experience. Many people were already familiar with the concept of a Lite app after the successful roll-out of Facebook Lite some years ago. We started testing the new version of Instagram Lite when people across the continent started asking for a Lite app for Android. The feedback was very positive and we are excited to launch it across the continent today”. 

“Our team aims to leave no one behind, so today we are very excited to bring Instagram Lite to people in over 170 countries, including the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region,” he added.

Instagram Lite is similar to the core Instagram app experience, though some features are not currently supported, such as Reels creation, Shopping, and IGTV. Instagram Lite is likely to gain appeal to users in locations with limited bandwidth or high data costs, especially in the developing world. 

Instagram Lite is currently rolling out in over 170 countries, and Facebook remains committed to building and improving the app to help everyone in the world connect to the people and things they love. 

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