As any good visitor to Africa, I hummed the Bobby
Kimball song “Africa” to myself in a recent taxi ride in South Africa,
observing the passing faces—so many exciting things happening, so much
potential on its way to being realized.
“As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti….” I
continued to hum as I thought: Africa is sure
to need a lot of fiber to support the massive and imminent changes happening,
many of them made possible only because of the internet. Home to some of the fastest
growing cities and economies
in the world, the world’s youngest
population, and a booming technological revitalization, Africa is an exciting
CLICK TO TWEET: The actual amount of fiber in Africa is not enough to handle the amount of traffic expected over the networks in coming years.
The world is expectant of Africa. Expectant of the
advancements, the ingenuity, the creativity and capability of the continent.
Separately, three CEOs of the biggest, global tech-giants have visited Africa
in the last two years— Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. While in Nigeria, Mark
Zuckerberg was quoted saying “The
future will be built in Africa.” This comment echoed Bill Gates' enthusiasm
and hope for the continent, in his speech last summer in South Africa: These
CEOs see it. They anticipate it. They are
in on it.
So what are the limits? The sky! The moon! Mars! Just
kidding, the ground actually... or maybe the height of a cellular signal. "High-speed,
reliable internet is vital for these young businesses to compete with the likes
of Silicon Valley,” says the general manager at a shared working space in Kenya
in an interview. Africa,
while currently lower than Europe or the Americas in mobile broadband
subscriptions (only 19 percent, versus 60 percent), has had the highest growth in recent
years and is forecasted
to grow 5-fold by 2020.
While Africa is quite well-fed with sub-sea fiber cables,
the actual amount of fiber on the continent is not enough to handle the amount
of traffic expected over the networks in coming years. This means there is a rich opportunity for
investment in the future of Africa by means of fiber—from feeding and off-loading
macro cell towers with fiber and fiber to the home services to someday feeding
small cells and 5G equipment. Africa needs fiber! It’s an exciting space, and
CommScope sees it. CommScope anticipates it. And with a long history in the
region, CommScope is in on it, too.
Hmm… “there’s nothing that a hundred men or more
could ever doooo” I hum on…