Undersea Cable Systems: Africa’s Coming Tech Boom?


Om Malik posits:

“Building new cables is the equivalent to adding new roads, new shipping lanes, or flights. The undersea fibers of today are what sea trading routes were in the past—an indicator of future economic activity and a subsequent boom”

That during the 90’s a “grotesque number of” undersea fibre optic cables were laid connecting the US, Japan Europe and parts of Asia Pacific. Those three regions then went through an economic boom due to telecom deregulation and increased spending on ICT initiatives.
Right now I believe we are seeing the counterpoint in Africa. A number undersea fibre projects are in progress, many more competitors in the service provider arena are entering the market challenging erstwhile telco giants to repackage their business models and service offerings.
What is quite notable in Africa is the unprecedented growth in the number of mobile subscribers over the last decade and I tend to agree with Om’s assessment that the bulk 13 terrabits per second-odd capacity that the fibre options will bring to fore, will be used by mobile broadband services since “PC penetration is (still) abysmally low” in the continent.
Photo credit: aolcdn.com