In June 2017, I made a case that 2022 will be the inflexion year where mobile internet will begin to seed new business models in Nigeria (and Africa) at scale. It will be the year of Wireless Nigeria and Wireless Africa.
In today’s videocast, I make a case that Africa will enter the era of affordable broadband internet in 2022. That will be the year we will begin a new dawn of immersive connectivity where you can eat and surf all you can. Industry players will take off the Internet meter and then focus on service, experience and quality. From satellite broadband vendors to the MNCs with balloons and drones, the sector will become very competitive and service will drive growth. This has happened in the past – every decade, Africa experiences a major industrial transformation. We saw that in banking and voice telephony. 2020s, starting at 2022, will be the decade of immersive connectivity.
I just saw some numbers and plots, and the 2022 is looking real. Simply, by 2022, global population will be at parity with internet users. The implication is that within the next four years, we would have additional 4.2 billion internet users. Most of them would come from Africa and India.
According to Diamandis newsletter, three things will drive this redesign:
- 5G: Massive deployment will begin around 2020 and it will deliver 100X faster than 4G, and 10X faster than broadband.
- Balloons: With Google Loon and others, this is going to facilitate internet penetration at a big level. Balloons are ready to be massively scaled by 2020.
- Space-based networks: OneWeb is going live in 2020 and SpaceX is just around the corner also.
With 5G on the ground, balloons in the air and private satellites blanketing the Earth from space, we are on the verge of connecting every person on the planet with gigabit connection speeds at de minimis cost.
This shift will be massive – balloons, satellites and 5G will blanket the world with connectivity. Many sectors in Nigeria will open up for massive dislocation and disruption as data becomes largely affordable. Google Loon and SpaceX see Africa as their markets, this will happen. You need to plan ahead because 2022 is it.
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