Intel Says Africa May Be First for Use of Small, Prepaid Broadband Bundles
“Africa can be the first continent to do prepaid broadband in very small packages, such as paying 10 cents for 15 megabits,” John E. Davies, general manager of Intel’s World Ahead program, said in an interview at the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in Cape Town today. “Africa and Southeast Asia will drive prepaid broadband,” Davies, who works with governments to help bring wireless connectivity to disadvantaged communities, said.
Africa’s population is estimated at 1 billion people and by 2015, 221 million consumers will advance from destitution to basic-needs status, making from $1,000 to $5,000 a year, according to a McKinsey & Co. analysis of data from IHS Global Insight. Mobile-phone penetration is about 80 percent in much of sub-Saharan Africa, according to Arnold Ekpe, chief executive officer of Ecobank Transnational Inc. (ETI)
“The billing systems are already there, the mobile operators have done it with phones, so now we’ve got to do the same with PC broadband,” Davies said. “With mining, farming, fishing and tourism, many of Africa’s activities are still rural, but we can connect them.”
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