Author Russell Southwood


New subsea cables to drive down prices

Not a week goes by without a new round of 4G/LTE roll-out announcements. This week it was Glo expanding its reach in Nigeria and Zantel providing mainland coverage in Tanzania. The supply side for increased bandwidth


Ugly war looming over OTTs

The recent decision by all three telecommunications operators in Morocco to block voice-over-Internet protocol and other IP-based services is the first shot in what is going to


Why francophone Africa lags in start-ups

In the past three months, I’ve visited three francophone countries — Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Mali — and talked to those involved in the start-up ecosystem in each country. The most developed of


Cheap mobile data for Africa? Here’s how

Africa’s network operators need to make a New Year’s resolution that they will work to make their data cheaper for their users and improve the quality of their networks. Data creates significant revenue challenges for Africa’s mobile operators, and they must be prepared

Editor's pick

Africa’s MNOs are dazed and confused

The business logic is clear; only the timing remains to be settled. Everything in telecommunications, including voice, will soon be data. In a world where everything is data, there will be two types of companies. And they will not be mobile operators. There will be content companies and there will be data


E-commerce takes root in Nigeria

Early e-commerce market entrant in Nigeria, Naspers’s, came and went, with many suggesting it was inevitable given that the number of online customers was tiny. But Rocket Internet start-up Jumia and Konga, backed by Sweden’s Kinevik and Naspers, are now estimated by those


Inside Medallion, Nigeria’s Teraco

Liberalised markets create competition, and that means more operators. But the growing array of these voice and data providers can’t operate in isolation: they have to connect to each other. In Nigeria, Medallion Communications has stepped in to meet this need. The larger and more complex


In Africa, ISPs fill the broadband gap

A new Internet service in the remote north of Uganda and the roll-out of 4G in Ghana — neither involved a traditional mobile operator but both have set the new pattern for Africa’s new broadband deployments. In Uganda, Zoom Wireless was set up by long-time Kenyan Internet


Consumers break SA’s home fibre logjam

South Africa’s stately progress towards implementing fibre to the home (FTTH) has taken a turn for the better after two residents’ associations took matters into their own hands. One, Parkhurst in Johannesburg, has appointed a supplier and the other, nearby Parkview, is asking for quotes on delivering home fibre. The big gorillas in South Africa’s


Mobile VOD in Africa on cusp of boom

Balancing Act Africa research counts 73 video-on-demand platforms operating in Africa — on the Internet, via satellite or through mobile applications. Mostly, these are “over the top” services with the vast majority set up by independent providers. Although they may have operating alliances with mobile

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