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.

Ultra-Broadband

Propelling Connectivity in East Africa & Beyond

Article Image
The rollout of radio access networks and supporting optical transport infrastructure is at the forefront of mobile operators' network strategies, as Barnabas Bwali from Airtel Tanzania has explained to Connecting Africa. (See Feeding the Data Demand in East Africa.)

Behind the scenes, companies such as OFS Optics are supporting the construction of these networks and the development of digital Africa.

We caught up with Jacob Petersen, a director at OFS Optics, during East Africa Com 2016 to discuss the major projects OFS has undertaken across Africa, the challenges facing connectivity on the continent and the initiatives it has spearheaded in the region.

Being one of the oldest manufacturers in the optical fiber and supporting components sector, Petersen notes that OFS has been in operation since the 1980s and is "predominantly here to assist in the rollout [of] fiber to the home [FTTH]," and is "also active in the trans-oceanic business," yet in East Africa the company is working on FTTH and transport network that support 2G/GSM networks.

With factories around the world, its major projects on the African continent have included "a couple on the west coast, [in] South Africa, as well as a fair bit with Safaricom and KPMC [Kenya Promotions and Marketing Company]," says Petersen.

OFS would like to be known as the "go-to guys" for any project size and sees the lack of deployment knowledge as a key impediment to more extensive fiber rollouts: "I see education being the main issue – a lack of educated personnel to roll out fiber in the right way."

In order to address this issue, the vendor has established the OFS University, an academy that seeks to educate and train those hoping to enter the engineering or telecom sectors. Two academies, one in Kenya and the other in Ivory Coast, are currently open and serving the educational needs of the communications networking community in East Africa.

View the full interview with Petersen here:

If you're interested in connectivity in East Africa, learn from and engage with the architects at the forefront of the region's tech and telecom development at East Africa Com 2017. Find out more about the event here. Super Early Bird tickets are available until March 31 -- buy yours here.

Upcoming events:
East Africa Com May 17-18, Nairobi
West Africa Com July 11-12, Dakar
Nigeria Com September 20-21, Lagos
AfricaCom November 6-10, Cape Town

Be part of the African tech and telco conversation here:

Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Instagram

— Amy Turner, Digital Content Marketer, KNect365

Innovation hub

Story

Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

Story

Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

Story

Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.

Story

Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.

Story

Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up