Submarine cables landing in sub-Saharan Africa currently reach 37.4 million people within a 25-km range of landing stations, equivalent to 4.4% of the total population. This will increase to 46.6 million (5.5%) once additional landing points for the WACS, ACE, and SEAS submarine cables have been completed in 2011 and 2012.
The thirteen submarine cable systems with landings in sub-Saharan Africa have a total design capacity of 14.0 Tbps, which will now almost double to 25.8 Tbps by the end of 2012, but the key is delivering this capacity to customers.
Africa’s terrestrial fibre optic networks reach some 259.3 million people within a 25-km range of operational fibre nodes, some 30.8% of the population. Once fibre network which is currently under construction is completed, this will grow to 313.3 million (37.2%), and if network which is currently planned or proposed is completed, this will increase again to 388.2 million (46.1%).
Table: Comparison of Reach Between Submarine and Terrestrial Fibre Networks, Sub-Saharan Africa
|% Popn 10-km||% Popn 25-km||% Popn 50-km||Popn 10-km||Popn 25-km||Popn 50-km|
|Submarine Cable Landing Point - Operational||1.8%||4.4%||5.9%||15,228,657||37,435,945||49,784,793|
|Submarine Cable Landing point - Planned||2.5%||5.5%||7.2%||20,776,374||46,625,420||61,250,237|
|Terrestrial Fibre Node - Operational||15.6%||30.8%||47.7%||131,230,412||259,327,721||401,057,432|
|Terrestrial Fibre Node - Under Construction||18.4%||37.2%||57.9%||155,168,393||313,280,142||486,944,473|
|Terrestrial Fibre Node - Planned or Proposed||23.2%||46.1%||69.9%||194,941,499||388,137,052||588,314,854|
Source: Hamilton Research.
Notes: A country-by-country breakdown of the data for submarine cable reach are published as two new datasets for subscribers.
In Senegal for example, 25.1% of the population (3,297,726) live within a 25-km range of the submarine cable landing points in Dakar (the capital). However, as the view below taken from the Gold Transmission Map shows, Sonatel’s extensive fibre backbone currently reaches 71.9% of the population (9,439,405) within a 25-km range, and 92.7% within a 50-km range. The Atlantis-2 and SAT-3 cables currently land in Dakar. This will be followed by ACE (2012), Globacom obtained a licence last year to land the GLO-1 cable in Dakar, and Main One also plan to land in Dakar too.
Whilst it is true that most cables land in the largest cities (Abidjan, Accra, Lagos, Dar es Salaam and so on), some do not. In Kenya for example, only 3.4% of the population lives within a 25-km range of the cable landing point in Mombasa and in South Africa just 3.1% of the population live within a 25-km range of Melkbosstrand and Mtunzini.
The deployment of terrestrial fibre networks expands the size of the market that can be reached with high capacity backbones. In Gabon for example, 35.3% of the population (527,646) live within a 25-km range of the SAT-3 submarine cable landing point in Libreville (the capital). In addition, the ACE cable will land in Libreville in 2012. Meanwhile, Gabon Telecom is building a 3,000-km national fibre backbone which, it is planned will be completed by the end of 2012, will reach 80% of the population (1,197,326) within a 25-km reach of an operational fibre node.
Africa Telecom Transmission Map Updates Q4, 2010
In the fourth quarter of 2010, a total of 41,791-kms of network was added or edited in the African Telecom Transmission Map, bringing the total inventory to 617,773-km. By comparison, in July 2010 this stood at 585,471–km, and in July 2009 at 465,659-km (restated).
A total of 337 changes were made to terrestrial transmission networks on the map during the quarter, with fibre backbones extended in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania. This included 16,321-km of operational fibre, 4,956-km of fibre under construction, 8,177-km of fibre which was planned, and 8,001-km of fibre which was proposed. A further 4,336-km of microwave network was either added or edited.
This research data is provided as part of a subscription-based service, you need to be logged in to see the rest of this article. Login using the box in the sidebar, or click here to log in. Not a subscriber? Click here to find out more about our services.