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The use of broadband by telecommunications companies in Africa is increasing, which will lead to the competition rising for manufacturers in the market during 2018.

IT News Africa quoted Steve Briggs, chief commercial officer at SEACOM, stating that the flurry of activity in the fibre market is creating a virtuous circle where end-users benefit from better broadband connectivity and thus use more telecom services.

The resulting uptick in demand gives telecom networks the incentive and business case to invest more heavily in fibre infrastructure.

“In the markets where we operate, East Africa and southern Africa there’s a land grab underway,” noted Briggs. Read more: KETRACO form allies to upgrade its fibre connections

He continued: “Before the arrival of fibre, many businesses depended on expensive mobile data or satellite solutions for connectivity. Fixed-line broadband was inaccessible in most parts of the continent because there was no infrastructure and the costs were too high. That picture is beginning to change.”

Network modernisation initiative

Metering and Smart Energy reported that Nokia recently partnered with telecommunications operator Orange Middle East & Africa to launch a three-year network modernisation initiative in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Niger.

Under the initiative, Nokia will be replacing Orange’s existing radio access network (RAN) with its modern RAN to support 2G, 3G and 4G services for some 60 million subscribers.

Meanwhile in East Africa, figures from the Communications Authority of Kenya show that there were nearly 55,000 fixed fibre optic subscriptions in June 2017, double the 27,500 such connections recorded in June 2016.

“The explosion in fibre-optic connectivity in Kenya is having a transformative effect on the country, offering broadband that is faster and cheaper than mobile connectivity.

“It’s helping to drive growth and innovation among the country’s already thriving tech entrepreneur ecosystem, it’s supporting the academic community and turning the country into a regional R&D hub. Consumers are enjoying seamless access streaming video and other rich services,” noted Briggs.