MEA region set for strong broadband growth
Region's broadband sector to grow by 20% a year until 2014, according to report
The broadband internet sector in the Middle East and Africa is set to grow by more than 20% a year until 2014, to reach 81.8 million fixed and wireless connections, according to a report from US-based analyst Pyramid Research.
The growth will be driven mainly by WiMAX and 3G deployments, as much of the region lacks fixed access, particularly in rural areas, the report added.
"MEA has the lowest broadband penetration rates in the world. However, in terms of forecast subscriber growth rates, MEA represents an attractive opportunity," said Hussam Barhoush, a senior analyst for the MEA region at Pyramid Research.
He added that the region continues to outpace all developed countries in terms of wireless technology growth, although Latin America and central and eastern Europe are projected to experience slightly faster growth.
"We expect broadband penetration in MEA to be driven primarily by slow but steady economic growth and the region's favourable demographic environment, in which more than 40% of the population is under the age of 15," he said.
Furthermore, ongoing submarine cable projects in Africa are also expected to boost Internet services in region. Barhoush said the cables would "improve competitiveness" in the MEA region by allowing for the "stratification of broadband services" to the end users across the continent.