Mobile internet is no longer luxury in Africa, it has become a vital tool for fostering Social, Economic and Technological Development in Africa.
This workshop will discuss:
- The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that face Mobile internet in Africa, and how to leverage each one to the African Community advantage
- The Synergy between Mobile Internet and Internet Governance
- The Community concerns raised
To assist participants more actively during the workshop, AfriNIC will publish a short guide to the issues under discussion on the AfriNIC website a few weeks prior to the workshop.
SWOT Analysis of the impact of mobile Internet on Internet governance in Africa
This session looked at how Internet Governance can impact upon the huge growth in mobile in Africa. The panel featured Adiel Akplogan, AfriNIC CEO, members from the AfriNIC board, SafariCOM and GSMA.
Conclusions and further comments:
· The Internet in general is open, transparent and accessible; however in contrast, mobile Internet is relatively limited in that customers must first subscribe to an operator who then of course has his own rules of how you are able to use that particular service.
· The majority of Internet access in Africa is through mobile services (95%).
· Internet Governance in general becomes limited when you look at the Internet from the mobile access point.
· Customers’ records are left to the operator. There is no overriding national legislation to protect customers’ information so that if the operators decide, for example, to sell records for marketing purposes, there is very little anyone can do.
· The mobile networks are very good and very cost effective to cover large regions and mobile phones also give the ability to use the Internet without having a direct dependence to the power grid.
· Standardised technology enables multiple vendors and avoids locking to a certain vendor or limited set of vendors. This means better competition, with wider adaptation and bigger volumes, resulting in more cost-effective technologies.
· Mobile Internet is becoming the norm, the solution in many countries in Africa and the environment is fundamentally changing even for Internet engineers. They have to now integrate mobile in their standards, design and topology, et cetera.