In 2014 social media and locally-generated content and services using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, YouTube and other IP content providers will drive an explosion in both Internet traffic and broadband penetration in Africa.
However, the problem as ever is that most people still don’t have access to high-speed internet. And so, during 2014 – and indeed beyond - large financial investments will continue to be necessary throughout Africa to build or consolidate national backbones so that mobile operators, ISPs and large enterprise users have access to a reliable infrastructure.
Liquid Telecom’s fibre network is open access and available to any licenced telecoms company. This means that any carrier or service provider can use Liquid’s network to build their business. We are determined to avoid the closed network mistakes of the past.
Understanding the local environment by having people on the ground, not trying to manage issues remotely, will also become a key differentiator in Africa in 2014. Clearly all markets in Africa require attention, but the trick is not to spread your resources too thinly. Africa is a huge place of diverse countries with bags of potential for telecom vendors of all shapes and sizes.
Nic Rudnick is the CEO of The Liquid Telecom Group.