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African broadband market positioned to quadruple by 2012

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Africa’s high-speed internet market is set to experience dramatic growth over the next few years, according to AfricaNext Investment Research, which expects the number of subscribers to more than quadruple from 3 million in 2007 to 13 million in 2012.

The report seeks to dispel long-standing pessimism about broadband in Africa, where PC penetration is low and the cost of service is high.

“From the deployment of new submarine cables to improvements in radio spectral efficiency, there is a confluence of catalysts that suggest that African broadband growth is on the verge of truly taking off,” according to AfricaNext Research Principal and report author, Guy Zibi. “We believe this is the most significant opportunity for investment returns in the African TMT sector since the mobile voice boom.”

The report goes on to predict that 3G mobile internet services will constitute the majority of African broadband growth in the coming years.

“Mobile broadband will account for more than half of the continent’s broadband subscriber base by 2012,” Zibi says.

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