Africa’s internet market is facing a major tussle as global tech companies invest hundreds of billions of shillings in hunting down the millions of Africans expected to join the online community over the next decade.
Last week, global internet giants Google and Facebook laid out their infrastructure investment strategies in plans that will result in hundreds of billions pouring into the continent in the years to come.
As Google said, it will be about 110 billion Sh. ($ 1 billion) in Africa over the next five years, Facebook revealed the various technologies it has developed to ensure it reaches every corner of the continent through its Inside the Lab program, which aims to make one billion bring additional users to their platforms.
The couple have spent billions building underwater cables connecting up to three continents and are subsidizing the prices of devices used to access the Internet. < / p>
“We’re building the world’s longest undersea cable with new technology that will help triple the bandwidth that reaches the entire African continent. We even developed floating power plants that sit in the middle of the ocean and take the power of the sun and waves and deliver them to the cables in the ocean so we can increase their capacity.
And we developed a system , which delivers wireless Internet speed for homes and businesses and completely eliminates the need for cables (Terragraph). It’s an amazing solution to the last mile connectivity problem, which is often the hardest to solve, ”said Dan Rabinovitsj, Facebook Vice President for Connectivity.
Expenses The couple are all eager to attract hundreds of millions of Africans who research has predicted will join the Internet in the next decade.
“Africa is now the most challenging continent in the world from a connectivity perspective, but I am very encouraged by the level of investment and developments. We have always believed that there is no single solution for connectivity and that these three areas will make a huge difference, ”Kevin Salvadori, Facebook’s vice president for the network, told Smart Business last week.
< Explaining the reason the social media giant decided to invest in three different types of connectivity boosting modes, Salvadori said the company expects all traffic of people to be in over the next decade Africa on the Internet is likely to grow 100x.
Given the high cost of delivering connectivity such as fiber to homes across the continent, the company has spent about five years developing technologies that Internet would effectively spread across Africa.
Facebook says there is a direct link between connectivity investments and socio-economic success for d en continent and predicts that the impact of investment in the Africa submarine cable will increase between $ 250 billion and $ 400 billion on Af. will be ricas gross domestic product in addition to increasing employment by supporting businesses and promoting education and health.
“We know that our platforms help billions of people and millions of companies to keep their businesses productive and to connect with individuals about the things that are important to them, “said Salvadori.
Facebook whatsapp and Instagram- runs a program called Inside the Lab, the aim of which is to create innovations, to break into untapped markets. It says its new technologies could result in one of the biggest cuts in fiber deployment and internet costs ever and has started discussions on piloting the projects.
And while Facebook is gaining ground, Google also announced the various strategies, most of which are the potential small businesses with an investment of $ 1 billion by 2026.
“Customers in our part of the world earn between $ 1 and $ 3 a day and only 20 percent have access to 4G-enabled devices . So we partnered with Google on a program that reduced the devices to $ 35 (about $ 3,800), but that was still too expensive.
So we came up with Lipa Mdogo Mdogo, who is gradually getting paid. Customers pay Sh500 daily and then 20US cents (approx. Sh22) from their M-Pesa. It was very successful, data costs were reduced by 22 percent, the demand for 4G devices increased by 40 percent, “said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundra Pichai noted:” These investments will support the continent’s digital transformation by providing affordable access and product development for every African user, helping businesses with their digital transformation, investing in entrepreneurs to advance next-generation technologies, and supporting nonprofits that are struggling work to improve living conditions across Africa. ”