2013 Trends: Chris Wood, CEO, WIOCC

Emerging markets will have easier access to high-speed internet in 2013, which will accelerate uptake.

1. There will be significant improvements in the accessibility of high-speed internet/broadband in 2013, which will facilitate further marked increases in the uptake of internet/broadband in emerging markets: New cable launches and existing cable upgrades took the total design capacity of African submarine cables in service to nearly 30Tbps by the end of 2012. The focus in 2013 will be to improve and increase the affordability and accessibility of high-speed local access, to take advantage of this capacity and facilitate high-performance services in Africa - with service affordability and network reach both critical factors in achieving this.

2. Further technological and manufacturing advances will help make smartphones and tablets increasingly affordable and more widely available in emerging markets: When combined with the growth in mobile and online applications, this will drive further increases in internet/broadband usage in 2013.

3. With growing pressure on voice revenues, telecom operators will increasingly focus on boosting the data services side of their businesses: To win and retain high-value data customers, operators will need to make strategic investments in their terrestrial infrastructure and in additional international connectivity to not only increase network reach, but also to improve the reliability and quality of the connectivity they offer their customers.

Image courtesy: HSMimages

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