The African Fibre Boom

Xalam Research TeamBroadband, Connectivity, Featured Posts, Fiber0 Comments

At long last, the African FTTH Boom is here. From Kenya to South Africa, Mauritius, Morocco or Congo-Brazzaville, the rise of last mile fibre is transforming Africa’s broadband retail market dynamics – from bandwidth speeds to user experience, pricing models and market share upheavals, it’s a whole new game.

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African Dumb Pipes Fallacies

Xalam Research TeamConnectivity, Featured Posts, Fiber0 Comments

Mention the term “bit (or dumb) pipe” and you are likely to elicit a collective shudder from many telecoms operators. The conventional industry stance has long been for telecoms operators to strive as much as possible to avoid becoming mere transporters of data traffic. An upcoming Xalam Analytics report says this anti- bit pipe thinking is misguided – for African telcos, connectivity is where the money is.   Telcos, the reasoning goes, must eschew a business model that primarily relies on generating revenue from providing Internet connectivity, while other market players use that same, expensively-built Internet infrastructure to offer services. There are some legitimate concerns in support of that stance. Acquiring spectrum and building 4G networks is costly – yet the price pressure on data connectivity is high, either from stiff competition or some form of regulatory action. Financial markets have long appeared to value eyeballs-focused Internet services and algorithms much higher than the underlying infrastructure such services require. From Line Corp and WeChat to Dropbox, it has now become common for a web-based provider to emerge from seemingly nowhere to build up a market valuation at multiples that are superior to those bestowed on telecoms operators. Arguably most galling for … Read More

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The Complicated Dynamics of Nigeria’s 2.6 GHz Auction

Xalam Research Team4G, Connectivity, Regulation and Policy0 Comments

Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is in the process of auctioning spectrum in the 2.6GHz band. 2.6GHz is a so-called 4G band, allowing the winning bidder to roll-out 4G next generation mobile networks across the country. There is much riding on this auction; we find the probability for disappointment in the returns from this auction to be fairly high – but this is not merely a matter of value.  

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Valuing Africa’s 4G Spectrum – High, Higher and Highest

Xalam Research Team4G, Connectivity, Featured Posts, Mobility0 Comments

How much is African 4G spectrum worth? African governments have sold around $15bn worth of wireless spectrum since 1998, in three waves of awards covering 2G, 3G and now, 4G frequencies. By our estimates, Africa is sitting on around $5bn worth of 4G spectrum, and over the next 18 months, markets from Egypt to South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal and others will sell or seek to value a trove of frequencies that will pave the way for next generation digital services. And yet, even as they seek to precisely assess the value of the 4G spectrum on offer, buyers and sellers alike have surprisingly few independent tools for intra-African spectrum transaction benchmarking and value analysis. This report provides such a tool.

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Fiber, Cloud, Mobility And The Transformation Of The Kenyan Enterprise & Carrier Market

Xalam Research TeamCloud, Connectivity, Country Report, Data Centers, Enterprise, Fiber0 Comments

Our new report highlights how fiber, cloud, managed hosting and mobile payments are driving the Kenyan enterprise market. The transformation over the past five years has been remarkable – but the country is only getting started. We lay out why we project the Kenyan enterprise market to add more cumulative revenue in absolute terms over the next five years than it did over the 2010-2015 period. And we say that in many respects, Kenya’s digital infrastructure setup is what other African countries want to grow up to be.

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The African Fiberco “Big Three”: A Strategic Analysis Of Seacom, Mainone And Liquid Telecom & The Case For Africa Fiber Consolidation

Xalam Research TeamBandwidth Capacity, Connectivity, Fiber0 Comments

Few companies outside of mobile network operators have done as much to transform the African Internet as Main One, Seacom, and Liquid Telecom. From the maturity of the international capacity market to the explosion of demand in the metro and the enterprise, their markets have now evolved, and so must they. This report analyzes how they go from here, strategic options available and M&A possibilities.

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The African Data Center Rises: Colocation Demand, Supply and Business Models in African Markets

Xalam Research TeamCloud, Data Centers, Enterprise0 Comments

Every so often, a product sees a multiplicity of factors combine, as if coordinated, to create a groundswell of demand for it so strong that it turns into a near-tsunami, only held back by the supply side’s inability to keep up with it. Our analysis of the African multi-tenant colocation data center market suggests a market in such a stage, at the onset of a phase of accelerated growth driven by factors ranging from rising demand for cloud and server virtualization services to booming media content markets, regulatory pressures to “repatriate” hosting of African content, and substantially improved metro fiber infrastructure.

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Is the Golden Age of African Mobile Profitability Over?

Xalam Research TeamMobility0 Comments

Our analysis of service provider profitability in the African mobile market. The contribution of the telecoms sector to African development over the past fifteen years has been truly transformational. And yet, seldom have the fundamentals that have long underpinned its success been so much under threat. From data monetization to the impact of OTT, 4G spectrum and operator valuations, we offer the most in-depth view of African mobile economics available. Read More  

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Why African Telcos Should Sell their Data Center Assets

Xalam Research TeamUncategorized0 Comments

According to a Reuters report, Verizon Wireless is exploring the disposal of its data center assets – and they are hardly alone in doing so. African cloud dynamics are playing somewhat differently, but we find the trend to be intriguing enough to raise a number of strategic questions in the region. We say African telcos cannot play organically in the public cloud, don’t really need the colo assets and there is more revenue in managed services anyway. (Insider Only).

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Netflix in Africa – Sounds Great, but Who’s Really Paying?

Xalam Research TeamData Centers, Fiber0 Comments

Netflix has launched its service in 130 countries, including 54 in Africa. We marvel at the audacity of rolling out this complex a service with this kind of scale. We say Netflix is well aware of the constraints it will face in African markets, but note that for now, that doesn’t really matter. We are most intrigued by the underlying infrastructure subtext and we say African ISPs may well be the ones to bear the cost for this manna.  

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