Broadband will only get bigger and better in 2013, according to Alcatel-Lucent Africa.
1. Broadband, in various ways, more than ever. For example, LTE comes stronger than expected in emerging markets. Smart operators exploit the market niche for data services with LTE. In parallel, the build-out of terrestrial fiber will continue, on long distance (bringing the connectivity from the submarine cables in-land), but also in high-density/highly affluent areas with fiber closer to the user. At the same time, where there is copper, copper rules: New technologies allow to get a lot of broadband out of this copper, with a very interesting business case.
2. Sharing more and more. Each operator having its own network is not the only model anymore. This has various motivators in sharing cost, but is also encouraged in many ways, for example by some of the regulators or governments. Examples show that this is one of the ways to really accelerate the rollout of broadband to low viability areas.
3. Making great use of the network and the devices. Many services like telemedicine, e-learning etc. have been around theoretically for long time, on limited scale. But only now, with the networks being built and with devices such as tablets becoming slowly but surely affordable, such services can really go towards mass deployment, with real impact. Businesspeople, developers, NGO’s etc. are riding this wave well.