The African international capacity market has entered a new era, a new phase that comes after a period of dynamic growth between 2010 and 2015, and follows a miserable decade of bandwidth scarcity between 2000 and 2010.
Things are different in 2017. Today’s African international capacity market is facing a seminal challenge to its economic structure, a paradoxical predicament at a time when Internet traffic is booming across the continent. The dynamics behind these changes and their implications for market players and investors are at the heart of The Future of African Bandwidth Markets report.
There is much to assess. Our research says Africa’s international capacity demand profile looks excellent. The headline number of broadband connections in Sub-Saharan Africa has grown 10x between 2010 and 2016 and should hit close to 300m by 2020. African demand for international capacity has been doubling every two years and will double again between 2016 and 2020. This market, unquestionably, will continue to need international bandwidth - and lots of it.
International capacity supply has been growing too. Between system upgrades, new cable rollouts and technology improvements, African international cable capacity will reach twenty times 2010 levels -and almost four times 2016 levels by 2020.
If the 2000-2010 decade was a decade of bandwidth scarcity, the 2015-2020 period will be a phase of African international bandwidth abundance. How will the marketplace handle this bandwidth bonanza?
The most comprehensive independent report available on African international capacity markets and part of the author's "Future of the African Internet Series", The Future of African Bandwidth Markets provides an unprecedented view into African international capacity demand, supply, key players, pricing and evolving business models.
It explores key questions such as the size of demand, the impact of capacity oversupply, the economic viability of proposed cable systems (SACS, SAIL, Liquid Sea, etc.), the future of African pure play capacity models, the impact of new wholesale capacity disruptors such as Angola Cables and Djibouti Telecom, how much lower international capacity price points can go, the impact of IXPs, which players will control African international capacity in 2020 and more.
A reference report for all players and investors in the African international bandwidth market.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: THE AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL CAPACITY MARKET HAS ENTERED A NEW ERA
PART I Market Context: of Africa’s Explosive Data Growth, 4G/5G, FTTH, and 100Gbps Technology
- The African International Capacity Market is in the Midst of Deep-seated Transformation
- Backhaul Capacity Demand Catalysts - A Remarkable Growth in Retail Broadband Connections
- Backhaul Capacity Demand Catalysts: 3G Stabilizes, 4G Rises, and 5G is Coming
- Backhaul Capacity Demand Catalysts: The African FTTH Boom Has Started
- Backhaul Capacity Demand Catalysts - The Explosive Growth of (Mobile) Data Traffic
- 100 Gbps Wavelength Technology Has Transformed African Cable Economics
PART II African Capacity Demand vs. Supply: of Bandwidth Oversupply, Deficits and Rationing
- Africa Bandwidth Supply - A 5 Tbps Market
- Africa Bandwidth Supply Forecast View - Another International Capacity Boom on the Way
- African Demand for International Capacity Has Been Doubling Every Other Year
- Understanding Our Core Demand Assumptions
- Supply vs. Demand: After a Decade of Bandwidth Scarcity, a Decade of Bandwidth Abundance
- Bandwidth Begets Bandwidth - Demand Growth Dovetails Supply Growth
- Oversupply Analysis: Utilization vs. Lit Capacity
- Bandwidth Oversupply in Most Markets, Bandwidth Glut in South Africa Only
- Bandwidth Glut, Deficit, or Rationing? How African Countries Map Out
PART III Can the African Wholesale Model Survive an Era of Bandwidth Abundance?
- After a Decade of Bandwidth Scarcity, a Decade of Bandwidth Abundance
- The African International Wholesale Market Paradox - Strong Traffic Growth, but Business Under Pressure
- From Liquid Sea to Africa-1 - The Case Against New Cable Systems
- The Case for New Cables, Part 1: When It Comes to Traffic Volumes, Who Really Knows?
- The Case for New Cables Part 2: The Latency & Self-Provisioning Case
- The Case for New Cables Part 3: Bandwidth Gluts Don’t Matter
- Who’s the Hub? Benchmark of African Countries’ Hub Strategies, From Dakar to Dar and Djibouti
- What’s the Path Ahead for African International Capacity Wholesale?
- How Others Have Evolved - The Level 3 Model
PART IV African Transit Pricing - Downward Spirals, Deepening Divide and the Impact of IXPs
- The Submarine Cable Impact on African Capacity Pricing Has Been Transformational
- The Changing Nature of African Capacity Pricing - From E1s to STM-1s, IRUs to Leases
- Africa’s Deepening International Capacity Pricing Divide
- IXPs and the Race to Fix Africa’s Traffic "Tromboning" Problem
- Can IXPs, Caches and CDNs Truly Curb the African Appetite for International Capacity?
PART V The Rise of the Disruptors: How Angola Cables, Camtel, and Djibouti Telecom Can Transform the African Capacity Market
- The Rise of the Capacity Market Disruptors
- Disruptor Analysis: The Fascinating Rise of Angola Cables
- Disruptor Analysis: The Fascinating Rise of Angola Cables
- Angola Cables Subsea Project Overview: SACS and MONET
- Angola Cables - More than an International Capacity SPV - A Tier-1 Global Play
- Angola Cables - Charting the African Impact: To Disrupt or Not, that is the Question
- Will Angola Cables Be a Rational Actor?
- Camtel -Building Central Africa’s Best Pool of Fibre Capacity Assets, with the State’s Help - and China’s
- Review of Camtel Fibre Assets, From SAT-3 to SAIL
- Camtel’s Wholesale Play - A Matter of Survival
- The Case for SAIL (or Lack Thereof)
- Can Camtel Change its DNA - and Pull this Off?
- Djibouti Telecom - From a Uniquely Strategic Position, Building Africa’s Foremost Capacity Hub
- Review of Djibouti Telecom Fibre Assets, From EASSY to AWE
- Djibouti Telecom Outlook - Likely a Top 3 African Wholesale Player Within 2 Years
PART VI Who Controls African Internet Capacity? A Key Player Chart Analysis
PART VII From EASSY to WACS - Sample Africa Cable Systems Snapshot Profiles
- Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) - Bringing Connectivity Where There Wasn’t Much Before
- ACE - Ownership Structure Has Been Excellent for Penetration, Tough on Upgrades
- ACE Cable Key Charts - Shareholders Base, Design & Equipped Capacity
- West Africa Cable System (WACS) - Africa’s Largest Pure Telco Subsea Cable
- WACS - A Cable for the West African Telco Elite
- EASSY - A Broad Ownership Base
- EASSY - The Largest (Non-Kenyan) Cable in East Africa - and Arguably the Most Dynamic
- Seacom - The Pioneer Subsea Cable Disrupter
- Seacom - A South African Focus, and the Need to Evolve its Model
- Other African Cable Systems - A Summary
- Other African Cable Projects - Whatever Happened to SAEx, WASACE, Africa-1?
PART VIII From Burkina to Zimbabwe - Country International Capacity Snapshot Profiles
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Burkina Faso
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Cameroon
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Ghana
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Ivory Coast
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Kenya
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Nigeria
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Senegal
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: South Africa
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Uganda
- International Capacity Country Snapshot: Zimbabwe
- Appendix - International Capacity Country Projections Table