High-speed data in Africa: An assessment of provision via mobile networks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Policy, Regulation and Governance
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2018
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Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose is to examine the current provision of high-speed data networks on the African continent, in particular taking into account both licences and launches related to long-tern evolution (LTE).

Design/methodology/approach: An up-to-date underlying database of licences and launches relating to LTE in Africa has been compiled. There is also a review of the international operators that are playing a significant role in LTE provision. A number of individual country case studies are considered. Issues of corruption are addressed.

Findings: Africa is interesting because it has been a laggard in the development of high-speed data networks, but now finds itself in a position to leapfrog 3G technologies and hence close the gap that had opened up compared to, for example, Europe and Asia. This process is effectively assisted by the lack of fixed-wire connectivity but has to take account of the difficulty of attracting the requisite investment.

Research limitations/implications: Databases relating to Africa are always difficult to compile.

Originality/value: Published work relating to mobile networks in Africa is not plentiful and it is difficult to find relevant data in the public domain. A key aspect of the paper is that the database is entirely up-to-date.