R/€ = 14.16
R/$ = 10.92
Au 1236.65 $/oz
Pt 1365.00 $/oz
Nov 21, 2001
Wired and wireless soultions needed to bridge ‘digital divide’Back
Engineering|Africa|Cable|Fire|Harris Technologies|Industrial|Africa|Asia|Latin America|Egypt|Rwanda|South Africa|Broadband Wireless Access|Reasonable Telecommunications Infrastructure|Telecommunications|Usable Wireline Infrastructure|Usable WirelinenInfrastructure|Vice-president Technology|Wireless Technology|Wireline Technologies|Infrastructure|Irma Venter|Kwame Boakye|KwamenBoakye|Cable|Middle-East|“Where Wireline Technologies|Broadband Wireless Access|Cable Modems|Optical Fibre|Vice-president |Vice-president |Vice-president Technology|Wireless Technology|Wireline Technologies
© Reuse this One of the best solutions assisting developing countries in bridging the digital divide is using ‘wiloptics’, says Harris Technologies vice-president technology Dr Kwame Boakye.
Wireline technologies, such as cable modems, are suitable for developed infrastructures, as opposed to broadband wireless access becoming competitive where there is no existing usable wireline infrastructure, as in many developing countries.
“Where wireline technologies already exist, modest incremental investment can be made to gain significant capability, which is generally true for developed economies where there is a reasonable telecommunications infrastructure,” explains Boakye.
Such an advantage does, generally, not exist in developing economies.
For them to take advantage of wireline technologies new cable must be laid – a time-consuming and expensive proposition.
Given the great bandwidth capacity of optical fibre, it would be the technology of choice, acknowledges Boakye.
However, it does not accommodate mobility, and therefore needs to complemented by some form of wireless technology.
Wireless technology provides ease and rapid deployment that accelerates the generation of a return on investment,” he says.
Therefore, combining properties of optical fibre and wireless form a compelling value proposition for new infrastructure, called wilopties, he states.
At the beginning when the bandwidth requirement is not extreme, the network can be based on wireless, both for access and the backbone.
As the infrastructure develops to the point where wireless can no longer provide adequate bandwidth, then those links get replaced by optical fire, reports Boakye.
When comparing developing countries, access to the Internet, Africa indeed lags far behind its counterparts in growth.
In July last year, Africa had three-million people on-line – a figure which has grown to 4,2- million in August this year, reports Kwame.
However, Latin America had 13,3-million people on-line in July last year, growing to 15,3-million in August this year, with Asia and the Pacific region eclipsing both with 86,5-million people on-line in July last year, jumping to 144-million in less than a year – this growth mostly because of increased investment.
Only 1% of the populations in Africa and the Middle-East have access to the Internet.
Africa is, in general, exceptionally hard-hit when it comes to telecommunications infrastructure.
Rwanda has only 15 000 fixed telephone lines, 11 000 mobile users and a meagre thousand people have access to the Internet.
Egypt and South Africa are the most advanced, with the Northern African country boasting 5-million fixed-lines, one-million mobile users and 300 000 people having access to the Internet.
South Africa, with a smaller population than Egypt, has about 5,5-million fixed lines, 5,3-million mobile users, and 1,8-million Internet users.
Boakye emphasises the need for especially Internet-access, as he calls it a platform to transform everyday life dramatically, redefining the nature, scope and dynamics of industrial competition.
However, with most of the world still hear its first dial-tone, reaching this competitiveness may still be a long way off.
Irma Venter Engineering news staff writer © Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other ICT News
Updated 1 hour 17 minutes ago South African armoured and mine-protected vehicle company BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) launched its latest product at African Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2014 at Air Force Base Waterkloof, south of Pretoria, on Wednesday. It is the RG21 4 x 4...
Updated 1 hour 22 minutes ago While the ongoing theft of copper cable continues to cost the economy billions of rands a year, government says it has placed tightening laws to deal with the problem high on its agenda. "The high prevalence of cable theft, in particular copper theft, and its...
Updated 2 hours 42 minutes ago Financial services firm FNB and supplier development company Edge Growth on Wednesday launched the R200-million Vumela 2.0 enterprise and supplier development (ESD) programme, in Sandton, to help develop and grow sustainable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)...
Recent Research Reports
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The board of UD Trucks Southern Africa (UDTSA) has announced the resignation of MD Jacques Carelse. Long-time UD employee, corporate planning and marketing GM, Rory Schulz, has been appointed as acting MD while the process started to appoint a new MD. The Japanese...
There is a need to start planning another pumped storage scheme in South Africa. Much work has already been done at a site in the Limpopo province and the project was very close to being put out to tender at one stage. In 2008/9 the National Energy Regulator of South...
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is preparing to leverage its strategic coastal position to develop the Eastern Cape economy through proposed aquaculture development zones (ADZs), with a proposed R2-billion project aiming to contribute $278-million to the...
Completion of the ongoing construction of the 102 km Zomba–Jali–Phalombe–Chitakale road, in southern Malawi, has been extended from June to December 15 because of persistent rains and difficulties in paying the contractor. The project is being undertaken by Kuwait's...
The Malawi government has awarded South African firm Fischer Consortium the contract to upgrade the Malawi Road Traffic Information System. The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services at Malawi's Ministry of Transport and Public Works says Fischer...