Illegal networks limit growth in AME

25 September 2011 |


Neighbourhood networks are seen as one of the greatest inhibitors of operator growth in the Africa and Middle East region. Neighbourhood networks are when a business or group illegally shares internet connections.

According to Pyramid Research, if these illegal networks were eliminated, the total fixed broadband revenue would then increase from $8.3 billion to $17.2 billion in the region.

Internet penetration in Africa and the Middle East stood at 14% at the end of 2010, which was the lowest rate globally and 15% below the worldwide average. This low penetration rate means that there is plenty of room for growth and the report predicts this will mainly be in the broadband sector. At the end of 2010, regional broadband connections reached 80% of total internet subscriptions. This figure is expected to increase to 96% by 2015.

Users of neighbourhood networks are expected to move to unshared broadband connections with higher bandwidths in order to receive better services and quality from licensed ISPs.