Africa's ICT Infrastructure : Building on the Mobile Revolution

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Africa's ICT Infrastructure : Building on the Mobile Revolution by Williams, Mark D. J.; Mayer, Rebecca; Minges, Michael, 9780821384541
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  • ISBN: 9780821384541 | 0821384546
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/23/2011

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This volume charts the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) revolution that has swept across Africa since the end of the 1990s. Large-scale investment in the sector has transformed telecommunications from a luxury enjoyed by a privileged few to a mass-market service, used in villages and cities alike, across the continent. The book reviews the rapid growth in networks and the emergence of the mobile phone as a part of everyday life in Africa. The main driver of this revolution has been the widespread shift in government policy from one of state ownership and control of telecommunications networks to one in which the private sector is the primary source of investment and service-delivery. Across the continent, countries have established competitive telecommunications markets and built the institutions to regulate them. Investment and competition has driven network expansion, improved the accessibility of services and lowered prices. Countries that were early reformers have reaped the greatest benefits with rapidly falling prices and an ever expanding range of services. In the context of these successful sector reforms, the books addresses one of the key questions facing regulators and policy-makers #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; how far will this process go in delivering universal access to telecommunications services? By adopting an innovative new spatial modeling approach, the authors have mapped existing mobile network coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa and estimated the limits of commercially viable network expansion. As the Internet becomes increasingly central to the global economy, policy attention in Africa is turning to broadband. The volume uses a similar spatial approach to analyze the commercial viability of wireless broadband networks in Africa. It also looks at the region#xE2;#xAC;"s fiber optic network architecture in more detail as these lie at the heart of broadband service delivery. Finally, the book reviews the financing of investment in telecommunications infrastructure in Africa, looking at the amounts and the sources of capital investment in the sector.

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