Africa is often seen as “the next big region” for mobile communications growth. But the fact is that growth there is already in full swing. According to Ericsson’s June 2015 Mobility Report, there were 108 million new mobile subscriptions worldwide in the first quarter of 2015, of which around one fifth (21 million) were in Africa. And with penetration standing at “just” 78% – less than any other major region in the report, barring India – Ericsson expects that growth rate to continue: of the 3.5 billion new subscriptions it predicts between 2014 and 2020, 750 million will be in the MEA region.
What is often not appreciated, however, is the absolute size of the African market. The same report reveals that Africa already has a total of 910 million mobile subscriptions – that compares to 535 million in Western Europe, and 730 million in Latin America.
Against this backdrop, it should not be a surprise that this week’s AfricaCom 2015 exhibition and conference in Cape Town is expected to attract more than 10,000 visitors and 375 participating companies.
While we can’t be there in person, Quortus’ ECX Core / ECX Tactical virtualized core network product will be playing a key role at the Argela booth (A7), as part of the company’s AMoN (Autonomous Mobile Network) solution for public safety, government and military needs. AMoN is a 4G LTE / 3G small cell system that provides simultaneous voice, data and ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) communications: able to function standalone (without a connection to an external core network), AMoN is an ideal solution for users working in disaster areas, remote regions and tactical fields.
AMoN is another example of the growing trend towards the use of commercially-available telecom technologies in such sensitive, mission-critical applications. It is a move well-served by Quortus’ ECX Tactical solution, which combines 4G/LTE technology with features commonly required in the public safety and military environments, such as high-reliability voice, multicast/broadcast, in-session mobility, relay-station functionality and meshing. It’s also a great example of the innovative use cases that can be achieved with small cell technology.
If you’re attending AfricaCom this week, we’re sure you’ll have an interesting time – do try to check out AMoN, along with Argela’s other products. If you can’t be there, you can catch up on all the latest news via Twitter, by following the hashtag #africacom