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Africa Shows Low Growth in Fixed Broadband Penetration

chike onwuegbuchi

In Africa, 20 million households and businesses will have wired internet connection by 2022, compared to 11 million in 2016.

This is according to market research firm Dataxis, which sheds light on the state of broadband penetration and how it will grow in the next five years.

The market analyst firm says although wired broadband is on the rise with the progressive introduction of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) in most developed countries, only 1.9% of total population will have a wired internet connection in 2022.

The prediction is that ADSL will slowly decrease while FTTH will begin to grow. However, ADSL is still expected to remain the most used technology for wired internet access, with 81% of total wired connections in 2022, compared to 95% in 2016 in Africa.

According to the research, major cities in advanced countries are the priority in terms of infrastructures and network installation, while rural and developing areas don't constitute a promising market as yet.

Fixed wireless technologies such as fixed-LTE will continue to complement wireline both in urban and rural areas.

"Even though fibre initiatives seem to hatch in many countries, they will not immediately convert into widespread high-speed internet access and intermediate solutions will still be required in the upcoming years," said Sa Eva Nébié, research analyst at Dataxis.

"Fixed broadband penetration is very low because in most countries there is almost no wired infrastructure, such as ADSL and fibre," she explained.

"In addition, not many households are equipped with a PC because of its price and the need to have an electricity supply at home."

On the contrary, Nébié says, the mobile penetration is extremely high, exceeding 100% in many countries. "We forecast that smartphones will get more and more affordable in the years to come, while the average income will be on the rise."

According to internet world stats, Africa in March 2017 had a 9.4% contribution to world-wide internet traffic.