Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Partner Perspectives (Sponsored Content)

South Africa Leads the World in Demand for Constant Connectivity

Article Image
South Africans have the world's highest expectations for connectivity.

This simple fact underscores an important set of trends and opportunities in delivering the next era of connectivity to millions of people across the country.

South Africa's heightened demand for connectivity comes as no surprise to ARRIS, one of the region's largest technology developers and a world leader in broadband and entertainment delivery. Our eighth study of global consumer technology trends -- the ARRIS Consumer Entertainment Index (CEI) -- found that no fewer than 95% of South Africans demand "constant connectivity."

The opportunity for service providers in South Africa lies in the many facets of modern connectivity and the features that enable it to be delivered constantly.

To identify some of the most significant general factors, we surveyed 20,000 people in 20 countries around the world. What we found is that constant connectivity boils down to reliability, continuity and pervasiveness of connection; that consumers' decisions on constant connectivity centre around cost, speed, reliability, and ease-of-use; and that these expectations for constant connectivity will be commercial in the form of paid streaming services as well as broader experiences that capitalise on the same general needs.

Let's take a look at those findings in the context of our local survey results:

Defining Constant Connectivity
While constant connectivity can be defined in general as a connection to the internet, anytime, anywhere and on any device, we wanted to discover the most important components of this ideal for consumers.

Here’s what we found:

  • 63% define it as being reachable 24/7
  • 56% define it as being completely uninterrupted
  • 61% define it as being able to access information anywhere and anytime

What South Africans Really Want
How do these expectations for constant connectivity affect demand for actual services? We dug deeper to find out what types of features and experiences would serve these needs:

  • 77% want the same quality of connection away from home as they do at home
  • 51% want the same content available away from home as they do at home
  • 74% of respondents cited security and/or privacy as their top concern for constant connectivity

    Consumers' top 6 factors for choosing an ISP for out-of-home use:

      o Security: 55%
      o Speed: 51%
      o Reliability: 51%
      o Privacy: 50%
      o Cost: 49%
      o Ease-of-use: 45%

    Consumers’ top 3 priorities for Wi-Fi Devices:

      o Signal strength: 75%
      o Ease-of-connection: 51%
      o Low pricing: 46%

What Constant Connectivity Means for Service Providers
When we combined consumers' considerations for decision making and mapped it to opportunities for service providers, we identified some key opportunities:

  • 34% plan to use or subscribe to a new streaming service in the future
  • 33% plan to install a new home security system
  • Of the 13% churn for streaming services, 63% cite the reason as too high a cost for the service
  • Finally, 56% are willing to pay more for access to the new experiences that constant connectivity enables

The results offer a relatively clean picture of some ripe areas of opportunity for service providers in South Africa. But while they paint a few immediate prospects, we consider this to be more of a starting point than an end for serving this new breed of consumer. For service providers, constant connectivity entails a broad set of considerations for the evolution of the underlying network, the choice of complementary customer premises equipment, and the development and delivery of new services over that infrastructure.

The data shows us that there is overwhelming demand not only for new experiences that offer unconditional access to information and connection and entertainment, but also the manner in which they are delivered. ARRIS has been working at the cutting edge of developments in constant connectivity—not only helping to define the standards for connection, but providing the end-to-end network and expertise to deliver it. The next step for providers is mapping out a smart and efficient pathway to deliver constant connectivity across South Africa and beyond. We’re here to help.

— Steve McCaffery, President, International Sales & Managing Director IBO, Arris

This content is sponsored by Arris.

Innovation hub


Connecting Africa Podcast: Ep. 8 – Edtech for the future of work

This week we are joined by Eyitayo Ogunmola, CEO of Utiva, which is a startup offering technology skills training to prepare young people for the the future of work.


Hot startup of the month: Malawi's Converged Technology Networks

Startup Converged Technology Networks is focused on addressing the unmet demand for residential broadband Internet access in Malawi.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: October 2021

By Omdia Analysts

Across the Middle East and Africa, regulators are beginning to facilitate spectrum allocation to operators in the region for the deployment of new and innovative technology.


Research Bites: Why Africans stop using mobile apps

By Chinedu Wilfred Okonkwo, Magda Huisman and Estelle Taylor

This article – in collaboration with the African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development – explores the reasons behind why Africans stop using certain mobile apps.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

AfricaCom perspectives


Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.


Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.


How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Meeting SME’s where they are - Building inclusive ecosystems for Africa’s small business owners

Micro and small businesses have been, and still are, the spine and lifeblood of the African economy, making up 90% of businesses on the continent.

Many of these businesses have still been operating in traditional ways and serving non-digital customers. With Covid-19 expediting the digital transformation process, businesses - big and small - have been forced to adapt to operate successfully in a more digital-first environment.

To ensure that the digitalization of Africa’s market doesn’t leave micro and small businesses behind, digital solutions must be inclusive and create business-ready environments. But how can we ensure that African SMEs become digitally enabled?

In this webinar we will share from our own experience on how to create such an environment, and the actions we took in vcita to get there, including:

  • Closing the digital literacy gap through tech inclusion 
  • Making a positive impact on local communities
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world
  • Building the foundations for digital inclusion and small business growth in a technology-accelerated world

Register Here >>

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up