Innovative solutions, more focused service delivery and better understanding of the connectivity market are just some of the reasons why Africa is attracting the attention of more service providers. The surge in mobile use within emerging markets across Africa and expected rise in mobile-related business areas, including mobile payment services, has fuelled debate around the issue of fixed line operations versus mobility.
Furthermore, there is growing interest in the relevance and impact of long term evolution (LTE) technology and satellite versus fibre infrastructure, and how these technologies can alleviate connectivity issues, including latency and speed, which have long-been stumbling blocks to effective usage in Africa.
Whatever should transpire, going forward, there is little doubt that the progress of telecommunications is entirely dependent on connectivity says management at Q-KON.
The South African company, based in Gauteng, is focussed on providing satellite and wireless access network solutions to service niche markets in Africa. It continues to target this broad market with service and support, simultaneously empowering regional service providers with the resources to maximise market presence and enhance service offerings.
This carefully worked strategy to meet an increasing demand for affordable, trouble-free connectivity is backed by a well-established partner network. This includes a long-term relationship with Alvarion for the development of metro-Fi networks and one with Newtec to unlock the broadcast and mass IP satellite access markets.
Executive management at Q-KON believes that there has been a general shift in focus within the technology services and solutions market from “international” to “Africa”, with the current focus on “Africa for Africa”.
“The deployment of VSAT networks in international locations to service the Africa market is no longer the preferred option. This requirement is further fuelled by the various terrestrial cable networks that provide cost effective and reliable broadband connectivity to Africa.
“All markets are unique – and in that case Africa is no different. The basic requirements and restrictions might be similar to other developing market while the people and their ways to resolve these problems are certainly specific to Africa,” explains Dawie de Wet, CEO of Q-KON.
However, the role of satellite infrastructure in helping to address access to the Internet and enhancement of broadband services throughout the continent cannot be underestimated the company states.
“Satellite has always been the de facto option to provide ubiquitous services in Africa – and this remains unchanged. What is changing is the market awareness that satellite is not only a high-end solution and that business and SOHO services can be provided at competitive rates with 3G and ADSL. A services such as SkyeVine is demonstrating the power of a well defined product offering,” explains De Wet.
Expectation from operators and service providers is that Africa’s telecommunications sector is poised for growth and now is the opportunity to ensure service offerings are in place and ready for rollout.