Johannesburg - Findings from a new
survey out on Wednesday showed that the number of South
Africans accessing the internet via broadband connections has
increased by more than 50% in the past year.
The internet Access in South Africa 2010 study, conducted
by technology research and strategy organisation World Wide
Worx in collaboration with Cisco, found that wireless
broadband has grown almost three times as fast as fixed line
broadband in South Africa.
According to the study, most of the growth in fixed line
broadband comes from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
upgrading to ADSL.
This in turn has extended internet access
to more than half a million South Africans working in small
offices, who did not previously have access.
Wireless broadband subscriptions have grown by 88% in the
past year, against 21% for ADSL, according to World Wide Worx,
with corporate users the major driver of this growth, through
the deployment of 3G cards.
The group noted that the ability to collaborate and share
information in real time would help to increase business
productivity and profitability across the region.
The study also reported on the current and expected impact
of the new undersea cables.
"If all current cable projects
come to fruition, by 2011 the total capacity of undersea
cables connecting Africa to the rest of the world will have
increased 150-fold over 2008. At the end of 2009, the capacity
was 1 690 Gbps. At the end of 2010 it will be 5 410 Gbps, and
a year later 14 770 Gbps," World Wide Worx said.
The availability of both fibre access and new licences has
also sparked an 18% increase in the number of internet access
and service providers in South Africa, according to the study.
World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck said:
"Wireless broadband is neither cheaper nor better quality, but
it is more convenient and flexible, and it changes the way we
think about where and how we use the internet.
"The combination of new undersea cables and terrestrial
fibre-optic networks means we are seeing the emergence of the
next generation of connectivity technology, both in fixed line
and wireless services.
"The missing ingredients now are the
next generation of customer access equipment for those who are
connected, and affordable availability of access for those who
are not," he said.
- I-Net Bridge