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SADC not Bridging the Digital Divide

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are recognised by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states as enablers of stronger economic development. Yet, these countries are still grappling with slow and unreliable ...

Cost of Smartphones Continues the Digital Divide in Tanzania

The Tanzanian mobile market has been one of the most vibrant markets on the continent as a result of higher competition and an enabling wholesale cost environment. Consumers have been the beneficiaries of fierce pricing strategies yet this dynamis...

South African Data Prices Static for Two Years but Consumers not Flocking to Cheapest Product Offering

Almost half of the South African population is still not using the Internet although the major service providers have changed their data strategies. A major factor for this could be the high cost of data products and smartphone devices. The supply...

Disentangling the Broadband Divide in Rwanda: Supply-side vs Demand-side

The Rwandan telecommunications sector has shown particularly strong growth in recent years, due to a vibrant economy and championing of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the highest level. ICT is a central engine to driving Rwan...

Internet Use Barriers and User Strategies: Perspectives from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Rwanda

Affordability is cited as one of the biggest challenges to Internet uptake and use. Some service providers and users of over-the top (OTT) platforms and applications have devised strategies that allow the OTT services to be used as communication s...

The State of ICT in Lesotho (2016)

While Lesotho has made significant progress towards its national vision of 2020, it faces several challenges as a small landlocked, lower-middle income country, with mountainous terrain and low population density outside of the capital, Maseru. Th...

Low Internet Penetration Despite 90% 3G Coverage in Lesotho

Lesotho has the lowest broadband penetration despite extensive 3G and some 4G coverage. About 70% of Lesotho resident have never used the Internet. The low level of Internet use is attributed to high mobile telecommunication services and products....

The Movitel Miracle - New Dynamism in the Mozambican Mobile Market

Vietnamese backed Motivel has shaken up the Mozambican mobile market with its high investment, low user cost business model — creating the largest 2G/3G network in the country and winning 37% of subscriber-based market share in its first three yea...

Do Open Access Wireless Networks Threaten Competition and Investment?

The lacuna in South Africa’s national broadband policy on how to implement open access in order to contribute to national policy objectives prompted Research ICT Africa (RIA) to investigate whether open access strategies could be the policy and re...

Update: State of Prepaid Market in South Africa Submission to the Parliament of South Africa on "The Cost to Communicate in South Africa"

Pent up demand for internet service has driven strong growth in data revenues for operators throughout Africa. Traditional voice and SMS revenues have, in turn, been shrinking but still make a significant contribution to operator revenues. Operat...

An Evaluation of Open Access Broadband Networks in Africa: The Cases of Nigeria and South Africa

Despite its policy currency from the open source and open data movements there is little thorough analysis of how open access affects ICT policy outcomes in relation to extending broadband networks in Africa. There is very little acknowledgement o...

Developing Smart Public Wi-Fi in South Africa

South Africa urgently needs innovative solutions to address the digital inequality facing the country. In modern economies and societies, these online inequalities mirror the social and economic inequalities that continue to plague the country 2...

Much Ado About Nothing? Zero Rating in the African Context

A fresh, public-interested assessment of the zero-rating of certain applications (apps) and platforms in the African mobile prepaid environment is overdue. This policy paper examines the issue of zero-rating within the contexts of the range of dis...

OTT - Threat or Opportunity for African Telcos?

Mobile broadband and declining smart phone prices have lead to a rapid increase in Internet use. Computer based Internet access was and still is the privilege of the few in Africa, mostly those with formal jobs, students and those that access it...

Mapping Multistakeholderism in Internet Governance: Implications for Africa

From an African perspective, Internet governance requires not only an understanding of the unevenness in access to and use of the Internet, but also of the disparities between developed and developing countries’ abilities to effectively participat...

Youth, Deprivation and the Internet in Africa

The Internet is presented as a panacea for the challenges that young people face, but this is not necessarily the case. Despite being drivers of Internet take up, young people’s use of the Internet is not optimal, especially within contexts of d...

The State of ICT in South Africa

There is extensive evidence now that, as technology evolves from basic voice services to that of broadband, the value of networks increases exponentially with significant multiplier effects impacting positively on economic growth and individual we...

Dominant Operators' Data Prices Remain Static while SA Struggles to Get and Stay Online

Almost half of South Africans (47%) over the age of 15 years do not use the Internet. After collecting information on the access and use of ICTs in nine African countries, the Survey identifies the affordability of devices and data services as the...

Lagging ICT Adoption in SA Reflects Social and Economic Inequalities

Increasing Internet connections suggest a bridging of the digital divide yet, as more people are connected, digital inequality paradoxically increases. Inequality exists not only between people online and offline, but also between those who have t...

Botswana Telecommunications Limp a Decade after Policy changes

The telecommunication market in Botswana has experienced significant policy and regulatory changes over the last decade, which have not led to mobile market price reductions as expected. While the country seems to not have benefitted from the heav...

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