FTTH THE DIGITAL SPACE FUTURE IN AFRICA

Insights’ take on the market reflects that the global fibre to the home market is expected to rise at a healthy pace to reach a noteworthy valuation by the end of the period of forecast. The global market has been witnessing high growth even in its nascent stage. It is projected to grow at a high CAGR of 14.4% throughout the period of forecast. In 2017, the global fibre to the home market was valued at about US$ 9.5 Bn and is estimated to reach a valuation of more than US$ 37 Bn by the end of the assessment year. Though African infrastructure may still need improvement, there has not been a lack of resolution to take the continent  to the forefront of  FTTH.

Despite a slow start  across Africa, FTTH operators continues on their mission on delivering super fast broadband though not everyone is convinced on the  issue of  FTTH networks increasingly hots up across the continent. Africa is still a fairly small market for fiber-to-the-home installations when compared to many other continent  around the world. The number of internet users has already grown tremendously since 2017, with Africa seeing the fastest growth in first-time internet users. The number of users in the continent has grown by over 20% in comparison to 2017, with the continuous boast in African  economies through increased and  rapid industrialization programs across the region have led to increasement among the  middle-class in large and medium sized cities  in Africa.  Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is rapidly becoming popular in Africa, FTTH is definitely not the norm for internet services but its the new frontier for internet in the continent  and increment in fiber infrastructure. In fact, Many commentators once claimed that the FTTH sector has already failed, the progression witnessed  in Africa between 2014 and 2016, the number of homes and premises passed by fiber has more than tripled with decrease in subscription bill. The cumulative number of African homes/premises passed by fiber crossed the 1 million mark in 2016.

This makes sense if we note that, In terms of penetration, Africa  has witness an impressive progress 52 African countries are now connected to submarine cables, either directly or by terrestrial cross-border fibre optic networks. 44% of Africans live within a 25-km reach of a fibre node fibre to the Home (FTTH) penetration in Africa is rapidly becoming more prominent. As a result,The rise of FTTH is built on a realization of mobile networks and satellite networks have much larger coverage but need to share the capacity between many customers. This in practice limits the customer experience to a few Mbps downloads and much worse uploads FTTH offers up to 100Mbps upload and download service, and can be easily upgraded to 250Mbps.

Interestingly with access to a large capacity of upstream bandwidth, Fibre connectivity in  Africa has grown significantly. According to the latest research by Africa Bandwidth Maps, Africa’s total inventory of transmission network edges towards 1 million route kilometres; the continent had a total of 586 707km of operational fibre-optic network by December 2014. This comprises long-haul, metropolitan and FTTH/B (fibre-to-the-home/building) terrestrial fibre-optic networks.In the last five years, over 150 million more Africans have become within reach of fibre networks with new entrants and new business models seeing more households connected to fibre internet and gaining access to more services. 

Additionally, Africa has recorded a 75% of  FTTH connection growth since 2010 has brought dozens of new towns, cities and countries within reach of high capacity national and international fibre backbone networks for the first time.This  increasingly loud FTTH revolution that is made even more notable by the unique nature of some of its characteristics has occurred during the past two years, .FTTH transforms the way internet is used in Africa. We see FTTH becoming more accessible to many communities as new entrants roll fibre out in the form of open access networks. In other words they put the fibre down and allow multiple service providers to compete on service and diversified value.