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By Andile Ngcaba, Duncan Pie & Pramod Venkatesh

The Context

The last 25 years of Africa’s connectivity has been driven mainly by two industry forces (1) Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and (2) Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). ISPs have driven enterprise on one side while MNOs have driven consumers. The biggest challenge for both these providers for digital growth has been capillary Optic Fibre and Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum. Without Spectrum and or capillary Fibre, the price of access networks remained very expensive. In the recent past Africa is well endowed with ocean submarine cable systems; however, as you go to both big and small towns, the network is thinner. …


Central to the global dialogue on transitioning to the Fourth industrial revolution is the need to connect the nearly three billion, mostly rural and remote people that have never used the Internet. Are High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) the answer to bridging the digital divide? The blog argues for the development of the HAPS ecosystem to bridge the digital divide globally. The blog post will discuss how COVID-19 has highlighted the need to close the digital chasm. The blog will touch on connectivity in Africa and the work that is underway in this regard. The focus then shifts on the history of HAPS and the promise it holds for global connectivity. …


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By Andile Ngcaba, Duncan Pie & Pramod Venkatesh

“6G will come sooner than previous cycles..”

In recent years 5G has moved from concept to real deployments across the world. In the past, introducing new Telco networks has always been more expensive. However, 5G has beaten this trend and made the entire deployment much more cost-effective, allowing for offering at the same rate as the previous generation. The cost implication will be a significant incentive for enterprises to migrate to 5G and for consumers to adopt 5G.

The uptake of 5G with faster bandwidth and reliability is driving further digitisation of industries. These developments are essential for entire nations to prosper, particularly in Africa where digitisation has been marred by the high costs of bandwidth and lack of reliability for the last mile connectivity. …


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Necessity is the mother of all inventions… and entrepreneurs carry with them the spirit to see opportunity even in the most difficult circumstances.

When the dark cloud of COVID-19 engulfed the world and spread like wildfire, Governments across the world had little choice but to act quickly and impose lockdown regulations. Existing health infrastructure and processes were overwhelmed and clearly struggling to contain the deadly virus. It is in this difficult and uncertain context that a nucleus of African Digital entrepreneurs got together to volunteer their expertise and time to create a new digital layer of defence against the coronavirus on the continent. …


SA needs a digital regulator to keep up with the fast-changing exponential growth of technology

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The President of the Republic-South Africa established the Fourth Industrial Revolution Commission to advise the government on moving towards a digitally transformed society and future. Like many countries around the world, South Africa awoke to find itself catapulted into a digital reality of the Fourth Industrial Revolution that only seven months ago seemed to be on the distant horizon. …


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We are living through a pandemic that has negatively impacted the global economy. In a short space of time, COVID-19 has altered the global operating models and society is having to adjust in order to survive.

The world is changing at an unprecedented pace. The internet has fueled developments in technology that have completely changed the way the world operates. Throughout this development, the African continent has always lagged. However, the continent has been able to leapfrog legacy technologies and has become the leader in mobile money transfers. We are now in the era of Artificial Intelligence, and this poses a regulatory and geopolitical challenge globally. …

About

Andile Ngcaba

Andile Ngcaba is the founder and Chairman of Convergence Partners Investments. He is also an Internet technology investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

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