- Published: 29 April 2016 29 April 2016
Africa in 2015 has ~400M people with mobiles despite no signal where almost a third of the population live. Ericsson counts 170M smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa in 2015 and expects a remarkable 500M more in the next five years. 3G coverage in Q1 2016 is only 43% (GSMA) but increasing rapidly. The first map, from Afterfibre, very colorfully slows the emerging fiber networks. (Red are projected.) The third, from Paul Hamilton, has similar data but less color. It's easy to see the fibre desert in Central Africa. #2 is from the remarkable Steve Song, showing the undersea cables. Almost all have been built in the last five years. South Africa is served by five cables; Kenya and most of West Africa by three. Prices are a fraction of what satellite used to charge but in many places still very high. Larger versions below.
There's good news for Joburg and Nairobi: Hurricane Electric, a respected backbone provider, is opening POPs. HE is likely to price far below the current cartels.