Report: Global Internet Bandwidth Rose by 28% in 2022
New research has discovered a rise in global internet bandwidth by 28 per cent in 2022, with TeleGeography, a global telecommunications market research and consulting firm, saying it now stands at 997 Tbps with a four-year CAGR of 29 per cent.
The research has also seen that demand quickly transcends terabyte measure this year compared to 2020. According to the report, Africa experienced the most rapid growth of international internet bandwidth, growing at a compound annual rate of 44 per cent between 2018 and 2022.
Asia is right behind Africa, rising at a 35 per cent compound annual rate during the same period. Despite this slower growth rate, global internet bandwidth has almost tripled since 2018. The growth in international internet bandwidth and internet traffic remains similar.
Following the COVID-19 traffic surge in 2020, a global return to more typical usage patterns meant a decline in average and peak utilisation rates. Average traffic growth dropped from 47 per cent between 2019-2020 to 29 per cent between 2021-2022, while peak traffic growth dropped from 46 per cent to 28 per cent over the same time.
In a blog post, international internet bandwidth and traffic growth have been gradually slowing in recent years, but they remain ‘brisk’ said Paul Brodsky, Senior Research Manager at TeleGeography.
“After a tumultuous 2020 with pandemic-induced volume surges and shifts in internet traffic patterns, network operators are back to adding bandwidth and engineering their traffic in a more measured manner,” said Brodsky. “Based on hard survey data gathered from dozens of regional and global network operators around the world, it’s clear that the COVID-related expansion of internet traffic and bandwidth was a one-off phenomenon.”
Global average and peak utilisation rates were unchanged from last year, standing at 26 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, in both 2021 and 2022. Regarding pricing, providers’ shift to 100 Gbps internet backbones continues to reduce the average cost of carrying traffic. Across seven major global hub cities, 10 GigE prices fell 16 per cent compounded annually from Q2 2019 to Q2 2022, while 100 GigE port prices fell 25 per cent.
NCC to Bridge Digital Gender Divide
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it is committed to bridging the growing gender-oriented digital divide to accelerate inclusive economic prosperity for all Nigerian citizens.
NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, who restated this commitment in Lagos at the 2022 Nigerian Women Entrepreneurs and Executives in Tech Summit (WEETS), where he was conferred with the ‘Icon of Digital Revolution Award’ for his role in stimulating digital connectivity in Nigeria, said promotion of gender equality is a major component of ICT development.
He noted that the gender dimensions of ICT manifest in access and use; capacity-building opportunities; employment, and potential for empowerment, and that all these dimensions need to be explicitly identified and addressed to leverage technology and communication as powerful catalysts for political, economic, and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.
Speaking to the theme of the event, ‘Reskilling Women and Girls to Thrive in the Digital Economy’, Danbatta indicated that one of the ways through which the Commission strives to achieve inclusive growth is through increased digital connectivity to all, regardless of gender and other accidental circumstances, and that the Commission has continued to play a front-seat role in driving the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030; the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025; and related policies aimed at deepening connectivity for all citizens, thereby bridging digital gender disparity.
“The NCC has put on the front burner the need to expose girls and young women to more opportunities in the digital ecosystem, in line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) resolution 70, which advocates gender mainstreaming and promotion of gender equality, as well as the empowerment of women through information and communications technology (ICT), and we are fully committed to this,” Danbatta said.
Healthtech mPharma acquire Healthplus
HealthPlus, a top drugstore chain in Nigeria, has been acquired by mPharma, Africa’s top patient-centred tech-driven healthcare enterprise.
A contract between mPharma and the previous investor, Alta Semper, paves the way for the acquisition of most of the shares of the HealthPlus Group.
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, mPharma, Gregory Rockson, stated that the acquisition is consistent with the company’s goal of creating a healthy Africa by providing patients with life-altering medical treatments and medications.
According to him, mPharma’s decision to purchase the HealthPlus Pharmacy chain is a natural extension of the company’s strong commitment to expanding patient access to high-quality, priced healthcare in Nigeria.
“mPharma is strengthening its long-standing commitment to Africa by rethinking primary healthcare in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Africa,” stated Rockson. We keep converting neighbourhood pharmacies into primary care facilities to offer everyone who needs it affordable and convenient healthcare so they can live not just longer but also healthier lives.”
He added, “We are optimistic for Nigerians’ access to healthcare in the future thanks to the purchase of HealthPlus.”
The buyout is expected to give the company opportunities for growth within Nigeria and a base from which to expand its multi-pharmacy distribution network across the continent through its rapidly expanding QualityRx programme.
HealthPlus, powered by mPharma’s exclusive Bloom software, will give patients access to affordable primary care services.
EBANX EXPANDS TO AFRICA
EBANX, a global payments fintech company, is about to expand its operations and payments solutions in the African market. The startup company now wants to expand its mobile money operations in Africa.
EBANX says it has prioritised global expansion on the African continent, which it believes is the next big growth frontier for digital payments and the digital market during the 2020s.
Speaking on the expansion, CEO, and co-founder of EBANX, Mr João Del Valle, said, “Africa’s fast-growing digital economy is only in its early days, and it’s projected to grow up and to the right for the next few decades. Together with local players, EBANX will be a catalyst to realize the many benefits of a digital economy even faster.”
In Nigeria, EBANX solutions will offer USSD and bank transfer services. The former will be a session-based protocol that travels over the GSM signalling channel to query information, trigger services, and enable customers to pay for their e-commerce shopping. The latter will enable customers to pay for online purchases quickly and easily without needing a credit or debit card.
EBANX had already commenced operations in Kenya and South Africa.
On her part, President of Global Payments, EBANX, Ms Paula Bellizia, said, “Africa is now bursting with growth potential. Digital adoption and consumption of online goods and services have accelerated rapidly within its countries, and investment capital has been pouring into the region.
She added, “After studying the region and building a deep understanding of its local players, entities, and challenges, we are diving into Africa to provide local payments solutions that will help build the digital economy at a rapid pace, drive broader financial inclusion for its population, and provide greater access to a variety of goods and services from global merchants interested in building their market share there.”
Another service it will offer is bank transfers, enabling customers to pay for online purchases quickly and easily without needing a credit or debit card.
Instagram Fined $402m over Teen’s Information
Instagram has been slammed with a record fine of $402 million by Ireland’s data privacy regulator following an investigation into the social network’s handling of teenagers’ personal data.
In a statement by a spokesperson for parent company Meta Platforms Inc., Instagram plans to appeal against the fine.
The penalty is the second-biggest issued under the European Union’s stringent privacy rules after Luxembourg’s regulators fined Amazon V746 million last year.
Meta said while it had engaged fully with regulators throughout the investigation, “we disagree with how this fine was calculated and intend to appeal it.”
The investigation, which started in 2020, centred on how Instagram displayed the personal details of users ages 13 to 17, including email addresses and phone numbers. The minimum age for Instagram users is 13.
The investigation began after a data scientist found that users, including those under 18, were switching to business accounts and had their contact information displayed on their profiles. Users were doing it to see statistics on how many likes their posts were getting after Instagram started removing the feature from personal accounts in some countries to help with mental health.
“We adopted our final decision last Friday, and it does contain a fine of €405 million,” said the spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC),” said the lead regulator of Meta.
The Meta spokesperson stated that Instagram updated its settings over a year ago and has since released new features to keep teens safe and their information private.
The spokesperson said Instagram disagreed with how the fine was calculated and would review the decision.
The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple, Google, and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.
Tech Personality of The Week
This week’s tech personality is the founder and CEO of Losode, Aderonke Ajose-Adeyemi.
Losode is a technology company building a digital infrastructure to enable trade and commerce across Africa and overcome long-standing barriers to economic development, starting with fashion.
The start-up is an e-commerce marketplace which enables trade for four groups of people which are: people who want to sell in Nigeria and Africa, those who want to sell outside Africa, those who are outside but are looking to break into the African market, and people who want to buy from all of the above. It gives local access, global access, and two-way international access.
Losode emerged in the top three positions on the leader board at a 2016 competition by the Richard Branson-led Virgin Media business pitch. Aderonke believes that women do not have to struggle so much to play in the tech space.