Weekly digest for 6 Aug 2021


This week’s main story is from Telegeography, showing the latest growth in international submarine traffic. One of the main findings is that Africa led the world in Used International Bandwidth growth. Between 2016 and 2020, Africa great at a CAGR of 54%. But the rest of the world wasn’t exactly lagging behind, with the US and Canada growing at just under 50% and Europe at about 45%. The main driver of this growth were content providers such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, who now account for more than 2/3 of international capacity. Even though Content Providers (CP) are driving growth, there is a lot of variation around the world: In Africa, Internet Backbone Providers still account for about 40% of bandwidth – in comparison, CP’s account for 91% of bandwidth between Europe and North America. For Africa, this mix is going to change rapidly, because CP’s bandwidth demand grew by over 150%, while Internet Backbone Providers bandwidth grew by less than 50%.

  • Airtel Africa: Posted their results for quarter ended 30 June 2021. Revenues grew across all countries (though Airtel Africa only reported individual numbers for Nigeria). Nigeria was up 38.2%, East Africa up 32.8% and Francophone Africa up 24.9%. Revenues for voice were up 26.0%, data up 37.4% and mobile money up 53.7%.
  • MTN Nigeria: Posted their results for the half year ended June 2021. Revenues are up 24.1% even though subscribers declined by 7.6 million to 68.9 million due to the SIM card registration fiasco.
  • Telkom South Africa: Posted their results for the year ended March 2021. Revenues increased by 0.4%, mobile subscribers by 28% and data subscribers by 26%.
  • Ethiopia: The government of Ethiopia has opened up bids for a second telecom license. The second licensee will be allowed to operate a mobile money business as well.
  • South Africa: The first patent designed by AI has been granted in South Africa. The patent is for interlocking food containers that are easy for robots to grasp and stack. The patent was a world first – Australia soon followed suit by granting the patent a few days later.