The ‘Last Mile’; A crucial step to connect

After SEACOM touches the shores of east Africa, this part of the world will finally be connected to the broadband network. However, the SEACOM cable is  just the backbone of the connectivity. The Last Mile is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. The actual distance of this leg may be considerably more than a mile, especially in rural areas in Africa.  

The hunger for information and communication technologies can only be stilled by these last mile services which prove to include considerable challenges. Laying cables trough the vast space of the African continent would take forever, fortunately wireless technologies are meeting the african demand. WiMAX is brought up as the solution and investments are well underway. 

But there is a new kid in the town of wireless connectivity. This kid might delay the process of widespread broadband connection in Africa. A big battle appears to be between WiMAX and a technology that doesn’t yet exist, LTE.  This new technology is making investors weary of investing in WiMAX because they believe it is already outdated. The WiMAX industry has been bragging about its time-to-market advantage over LTE. Mobile WiMAX networks are rolling out this year. LTE networks aren’t expected to become commercial until 2010 or 2011.

It will be interesting to see when the new technology will be introduced and how it will affect the leapfrog Africa is about to make.


4 responses to “The ‘Last Mile’; A crucial step to connect

  1. Thanks guys for all the work you are doing… However, I believe that there will not be a ‘leapfrog’ effect in Uganda simply because most local business folks with money to spend don’t yet see the need for a basic computer…and this I believe is yet a revolution to happen…

    Wimax might work for the Telecom sector and the current Telecom Boom will continue to be sustained, however, walk around most Government ministries, let alone Kikubo Lane in Kampala, most Business folks still think a computer is only a luxury… Yet the Telecom Sector broke free from such an ideology…

    Folks around Kampala’s most poor know the value of a cell phone; it has become part of life and part of Business. Computers are still seen as a ‘Rich Man’s Thing’, the same attitude folks had when Celtel, now Zain had just introduced Mobile Phones in Uganda.

    I think the Government, Private Sector still have a long way to educate Ugandans on the benefits of Computerization and as such the Fiber Optic Cable Infrastructure won’t be another ‘Bridge to Nowhere’.

    Kato Mivule

  2. Just passing by.Btw, your website have great content!

    Making Money $150 An Hour

  3. hey guys,

    goed bezig! ik vond een interessant artikel (met audio) over de mogelijkheden van ICT voor vrouwen in Uganda, interview met vrouw in Kampala die die switch heeft gemaakt.

    Suerte! greetz marlies

  4. more information on phones for development, on solar power

    –> mobile phones help development

    –> mobile phones on solar power

    See ya! Adios Marlies

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