The penetration of digital TV services in Africa will begin to accelerate due to the proliferation of new technologies such as WiMAX. WiMAX has emerged as a serious player in underdeveloped regions where low bandwidth and inadequate infrastructure have limited the growth of broadband and digital TV services. In October 2007 there were an estimated 30,000 WiMAX subscribers in the Middle East and Africa, which is three times higher than numbers reported at the end of 2006.
“WiMAX deployments are critical in Africa because they enable networking in regions lacking fixed fibre infrastructure,” says analyst Anna Maxbauer, author of the IMS Research study 'Emerging DTV Markets: Africa & The Middle East'. WiMAX facilitates connectivity in rural areas at low cost, delivering live IPTV and VOD transmissions in the absence of expensive DSL infrastructure build-outs. This is especially important for regions such as East Africa, where the lack of infrastructure has led to some of the highest connectivity costs in the worldâ€¦ Local and regional operators should capitalise on low-cost technologies such as WiMAX in order to expand their coverage footprints and launch advanced services to previously unreachable African markets.”