The Future of Internet in Africa, and How to Build It Pt. I
Spending this summer at Google thinking about how African policy makers can create conditions for more and cheaper Internet in Africa [paper on the subject forthcoming], one thing continuously struck me: we really don't know what the Internet will look like [device and app-wise] when it is plentiful in Africa, much the same way we didn't know that banking in Africa would look like M-Pesa. The solution will certainly be mobile, but the big winners in African entrepreneurship often come up with unique, creative solutions tailored to Africa needs, not simply imported from abroad.
In 'Mobile Broadband Internet in Africa, Hash talks about the importance of mobile data. Money quote:
While it's good to talk about mobile phone penetration, I was a lot more interested in seeing the discussion going on around mobile broadband internet and how that is the next big move in Africa for the operators. Passing data, not just voice, is the battleground of the future in Africa - and all the carriers are fighting to position themselves to win.