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How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks 183

umarkalim writes "In an interview with Al Jazeera, Les Cottrell at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory explains how Africa will actually 'leapfrog' the need to install hard-wired cables. He says it's often overlooked that the continent is huge and that the countries are diverse. He says, 'the cost of the infrastructure is quite high, especially if you have to connect every home with copper cables and fiber-optic cables ... I think in many cases Africa will actually "leapfrog" the need to install hard-wired cables everywhere, and will be able to use different techniques such as the BRCK modem, the low-earth orbiting satellites or the 3G solutions to get connectivity to where they need.'"
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How Africa Will 'Leapfrog' Wired Networks

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  • Re:Wireless sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @12:41AM (#44753545)

    With wired, you have a dedicated pipe right to your computer.

    Dedicated from the street into your home. Further out than that, you are sharing the cable or fiber with your entire neighborhood. And if the operator decides they want to reserve more bandwidth for on demand TV or whatever, you get squeezed onto what is left. Along with all the porn downloading, BitTorrenting gamers in town.

    Wireless is great because all the bandwidth hogs hate it and leave it alone.

  • Re:Missing wires (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aXis100 ( 690904 ) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @01:07AM (#44753651)

    I had a mate who had a few kilometers of fibre cable deployed outside of their refinery area in africa. Unsurprisingly, some enterprising bugger would come along and dig it up, hack into it only to discover it wasn't copper. That in itself wouldnt be too bad - I mean it's not the end of the world to pull a bit of slack and splice the ends together.

    Unfortunately the same would-be copper thief would then travel along the cable a few more metres and try again... and again. Just in case it changed you know?

  • OLD news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chromaexcursion ( 2047080 ) on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @01:46AM (#44753811)
    In the late 90's several African countries were going cellular only, outside of major cities.
    This article is 15 years out of date.

    One of my company's clients at the time was the Republic of the Congo.
    Nothing like first hand knowledge.
  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <.plugwash. .at.> on Wednesday September 04, 2013 @04:17AM (#44754211) Homepage

    If you look at the submarine cable map [], you can pretty much see at a glance which countries are more aggressive about internet and technology in general

    Kind of interesting.

    If you look at the US there are lots of submarine cables but most of them are heading out across the ocean to europe and asia with a few links heading up along the coast to alaska and south/central america. If you look at europe you see the occasional coast hugging submarine cable but most of the submarine cables are either crossing a local body of water (e.g. english channel, mediteranian sea, north sea, baltic sea ) or heading off towards America or africa/asia. Australasia is a similar picture, there are submarine cables sure but they are either connecting islands or heading off out the area. I interpret this to mean that the overland infrastructure is good enough and the countries trust their neighbours enough that submarine cables are only used when there is a good technical reason for using them.

    On the other hand if you look at The middle east, africa, south and east asia and south america you see the map is dominated by cables hugging the coast with lots of landing points (virtually every non-landlocked country is hooked up to at least one of the coast hugging cables). I interpret this to mean that either the overland infrastructure in those areas sucks and/or the countries don't trust their neighbours.

    In a couple of places (libya, angola, south africa) I even see cables that only land in one country but hug the coast landing repeatedly. This really suggests that the conditions for building overland infrastructure in those places must suck.

    I also notice that a lot of the so called "undersea cables" from europe to asia cut across land in Egypt to get from the Mediterranean sea to the gulf of Suez. Could be nasty if egypt stops being friendly with the west.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.