According to new data from TeleGeography’s Global Bandwidth Forecast Service, Africa is expected to lead the world in international bandwidth demand growth in the coming years. Africa’s international bandwidth demand is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 51% between 2012 and 2019. At this rate, African demand would outpace that of both Latin America and the Middle East, which are each projected to rise 37% annually.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, especially, will contribute to the continent’s appetite for international bandwidth. Among those with the fastest growing demand are Angola, which is projected to grow 71% annually over the next seven years, Tanzania, which is projected to grow 68%, and Gabon, which is expected to rise 67%.
While Africa’s demand for international bandwidth is growing rapidly, it remains very small by comparison with other world regions. African demand is projected to reach 17.2Tbps in 2019, which equates to only one-fourth the projected demand of Latin America, and less than that of Canada alone.
Nevertheless, international capacity connected to Africa will increase tremendously via upgrades to existing submarine cable systems and new cable builds, and bandwidth prices on these routes will fall accordingly. ‘The price of a 10Gbps wavelength between Johannesburg and London in 2019 is projected to be less than a quarter of the 2012 price,’ said TeleGeography Research Director Alan Mauldin. ‘Moreover, as bandwidth buyers transition to larger circuits, they will be able to obtain greater volume discounts, compounding the effect of bandwidth price declines.’