So you’ve decided to invest in a high quality internet service for your business, but are unsure about how you are going to get the cost of it working in you favour. Well fear not, because we have a few insider tips for all of you business owners out there that will help you make the most of South Africa’s competitive business internet market. Simply keep reading below to find out more!
With the government drive to increase broadband access across South Africa there has been much said over the past few months about the merits of the initiative. But now there is also a price tag that has been attached to the venture and it is a rather large one…
Government has stated that the goal of universal broadband by 2020 is attainable, but this means that almost all of the existing copper infrastructure will need to be replaced as it is unsuitable for high speed data transfer services such as HD video streaming. The cost of replacing all of this is astronomical and comes in at about R60bn according to Suveer Ramdhani, chief data officer at Seacom*. He further went on to clarify that these costs would have to be incurred by the likes of Telkom, Neotel, Vodacom, MTN, Vumatel and DFA.
South Africa’s slow, cumbersome and expensive broadband is probably one of the most discussed topics around boardroom tables and at gaming conventions. But why is this, and are South African DSL users really experiencing poor or degrading connections? In a word, YES! But the reasons for this are extremely diverse and complex, so to give you a brief (and simplified) overview, we have included some of the main reasons for poor broadband service in South Africa below…
Verizon, one of the most established names in telecommunications in the Unites States, has announced that it will start testing the 5th generation of wireless technology (5G) in the field during the course of 2016. This would very likely mean that they (Verizon) plan to accelerate the deployment of this superfast technology, which in turn will lead to more wireless innovation and pave the way for things like improved remote surgery* and even driverless vehicles such as those currently being worked on by Nissan and Toyota.
With the massive expansion of internet access in South Africa it should come as no surprise to anyone in the industry that contention ratios have become vitally important for internet service providers (ISP’s). But why is this and what does this mean for you the user?
The benefits of fibre? Sounds like health advice, but in the ICT world virtually everyone is clamoring for another kind of fibre: Fibre Optic networks. These networks are quickly becoming the most sought after data connection due to their high data speeds and increased bandwidth, but there are other benefits and advantages over traditional copper or electric transmission systems that make fibre networks an attractive data option.
Globally there are already more than 10 million homes with a fibre to the home (FTTH) connection and that figure is growing daily. However few of these homes are in South Africa and our property market is suffering because of it.
IPTV has been coming for almost a century and it seems that it is finally starting to get traction amongst many in the first world. But is South Africa, with its notoriously slow average internet speeds ready for it?
IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, is a system whereby television programs are streamed via the internet to your computer or smart tv allowing you to watch your favorite shows and movies on demand. The concept isn’t new: the basis for streaming has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, but it was only in the 1990s that technology began to reach a point where is was practically feasible. While the original system designed by George O. Squier in the early 1920s was used later for the transmission of music over electrical wires, modern streaming is focused on the complete multimedia experience.
According to Akamai’s State of the Internet report for the last quarter of 2013, South Africa ranks number 97 in the world for average bandwidth speed. In addition to this, South Africa also had a 6.8% year on year decrease in the number of people adopting high connectivity speeds (>10Mbps): down to around 1.3%.
While we might be tempted to write this decrease off as a simple reduction of luxuries as the economy tightens up, for anybody involved in the digital world this decrease is disturbing news. High speed access has become the standard among many of the world’s largest and most influential economies, such as South Korea and the United States of America, with many of these countries experiencing peak connection speeds of well over 40Mbps. Even if we were to re-define the concept of high speed to being more than 4Mbps (A speed that already 55% of countries surveyed by Akamai enjoys), South Africa is still lagging well behind with an average connection speed of only 2.3Mbps. In fact, South Africa is still the only country in the Europe/Middle East/Africa section surveyed by Akamai that had an average connection speed below 4Mbps.
There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that businesses benefit from high speed internet. Not only does it give most businesses the ability to operate on a global scale, but it also reduces costs while increasing productivity. But the benefits of high speed internet are not only business related; social and education development in Africa, and South Africa in particular, will benefit from being connected.
We think that these three ways in which high speed internet and broadband wifi will make the lives of ordinary citizens better are the most important and essential for our developing country.