Government owned, and wholesale internet provider, Botswana Fibre Networks Limited (BoFiNet) has said that Botswana’s internet connectivity has been affected by high transit connectivity costs to access submarine cables.
Botswana is connected to the Africa submarine cables connecting it to the rest of the world through EASSy and WACS cables.
On Wednesday, BOFINET technical Executive Aldrin Sivako told journalists that another factor affecting the internet connectivity is due to disruptions caused by vandalism and power outages.
At the same time, Sivako says wide geographic areas sparsely populated and low economy of scale against huge capital cost also contributes to connectivity challenges.
Regarding global trends, BoFiNet says that annual global IP traffic will pass the ze7abyte (ZB). He added that Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next five years. He said smart-phone traffic will exceed PC traffic by 2020.
“Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will account for two-thirds of total IP traffic by 2020,” he said.
Globally, mobile data traffic is expected to increase eightfold between 2015 and 2020. On the other hand, global mobile data traffic will grow almost three times as fast as fixed IP traffic from 2015 to 2020. It is also expected that the number of devices connected to IP networks will be more than three times the global. Currently official IT statistics shows that IP traffic is growing fastest in the Middle East and Africa, followed by Asia Pacific.
“Internet growth in Botswana has exponential growth pattern and there was 300Mbps (0.3Gbps) of internet traffic in 2013,” said Sivako.
He further stated that to-date traffic, there is in excess of 10.4 GB/s, adding that estimating traffic to reach 25Gbps by 2020 and that majority of traffic destined to Europe and USA.
Meanwhile BOFINET Strategy and Business Development Executive Thato Jensen said government is responsible for cost modelling and pricing framework through BOCRA adding that government supports ICT growth. He said there is advocacy for lower tariffs.
“We are affiliated to commonwealth Telecommunications Organization through (CRASA), BOCRA, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Southern Africa Telecommunication Association (SATA),” said Jensen.
He stated that BOFINET is a service provider that builds the telecoms national infrastructure and enables service providers (ISPs) to provide service to consumer. He also said that ISP buys services from BoFiNet and that they provides internet to consumer. He said ISP service quality and relationship with consumer. He added that consumers buy service from ISP and deals directly with ISP as 1st point of contact.
“BoFiNet provides pipe to the ISP and also informed by the how much the ISP is buying. ISP determines how to share the pipe and determines speed of internet to consumer,” said Jensen.