2007 African - Convergence and Broadcasting Market

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Last updated: 13 Nov 2007 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 125

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting and digital media in 34 African countries. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Regulatory environment;
  • Major players;
  • Satellite coverage;
  • Infrastructure development;
  • NGN and WiMAX;
  • Internet telephony (VoIP);
  • Digital TV, Interactive TV, IPTV in Africa;
  • E-services;
  • Convergence of telecommunications, digital media and broadcasting;
  • Triple play.

Executive Summary

Broadcasting is an integral part of Africa’s development and a means of communication over the vast areas of this continent. Improvements in broadband infrastructure and the emergence of 3G mobile systems are now opening the way to convergence of conventional and digital media as well as telecommunications.

With far greater ownership of TV sets compared to PCs in Africa, the broadcasters’ viewers represent a huge potential customer base for Internet services as well. Interactive TV, especially the variety using mobile phone text messages (SMS), has found its way to Africa and is growing fast. The PVR was introduced in South Africa in 2005. The first Triple-Play services have been launched across the continent, offering converged voice, data and broadband TV/video.

With poor fixed-line network infrastructure in most African countries, the extent of IP-based NGNs to support these services is still limited on the continent. There are, however, encouraging developments. Several countries have launched broadband initiatives and are rolling out dedicated IP networks and new fibre optic links.

Given that there are still large amounts of unsatisfied demand for basic voice services in Africa, VoIP is a primary application at this stage. This technology is now gaining ground on the continent following steady improvements in Internet bandwidth, deregulation in several countries and the growing number of VoIP service providers entering the market. WiMAX technology, currently being rolled out in at least 20 African countries, will enable the continent to leapfrog straight to wireless NGNs at affordable cost.

Key highlights:

  • Status reports from 17 African countries where the migration to IP-based NGNs has begun;
  • Status reports from 20 countries on the continent with WiMAX trials, rollouts or commercial services;
  • The first four service providers on the continent have launched commercial triple play services, with at least five others at advanced stages of deployment;
  • At least five African countries have started or completed the migration to DTTV;
  • More than 90% of African pay TV customers are already subscribing to digital services.

Naspers pay TV subscribers in Africa - 2004 - 2007

Year ends Mar South Africa Percent digital Sub-Saharan Percent digital Total
2004 1,076,000 72% 291,000 97% 1,367,000
2005 1,148,000 78% 335,000 100% 1,483,000
2006 1,251,000 83% 385,000 100% 1,636,000
2007 1,392,000 88% 471,000 100% 1,863,000
(Source: BuddeComm based on company data)

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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