In optical networks, traffic growth drives bandwidth growth – and, the rapid growth of bandwidth-intensive content, including HD and 3D video, social networking, music, video conferencing and other multimedia, is driving the demand for high-bandwidth products.

This is according to Andile Ngcaba, founder and chairman of Convergence Partners, who spoke at a seminar arranged by Datanet Infrastructure Group in conjunction with the international Fibre Optic Association (FOA) and Triple Play Fibre Optic Solutions which provides FOA-approved fibre optic training. Ngcaba also received an FOA recognition award for his ongoing contribution to the industry.
Ngcaba says connectivity in communications is becoming paramount and the economics are going to change as connectivity increases.
“Content and applications will be king and high-speed fibre optics (FO) will create an environment very different from that existing today. We are seeing a new world of multimedia emerge – a world filled with many more more screens and content.”
To demonstrate the scale of expected change, Ngcaba says that by 2016 (just five years from now) 900-million mobile phones will be operational in Africa. South Africa rates 23rd in the world in terms of tweeting volumes and 28th in the world on FaceBook. Cape Town is the top local city for tweeting volumes, followed by Johannesburg and, suprisingly, East London.
He adds that, while African operators are continuing to build new backhaul routes to submarine cable landing points to deliver greater bandwidth to cities and towns inland from the coast, the benefit is not yet being seen in the home.
“Long haul FO links need to be taken to the the centres of major cities and towns and then deployed to the ‘last mile’ so that homes can be connected. To achieve this we must continue to engage with the relevant authorities through the formal channels available in order to ensure we maximise the deployment and uptake of FO.”