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OTT Television and Video Streaming In Africa - Resolving The Data Challenge

The advent of non-linear television has merged streaming quality with real-time viewing. Today’s viewers are easily bored, have very short attention spans and have a variety of content and viewing options available. There is no-tolerance to glitches or buffering delays while streaming videos online.  

This trend has ignited the birth of all-in-one streaming platforms that enables broadcasters and video and audio content owners to stream high-quality video online.

These sharp modern HD videos when streaming requires high-speed connectivity access. In Africa, this poses a problem because the infrastructure to extend connectivity into homes, schools, and workplaces is still lacking. Many African countries do not yet have fiber capabilities to distribute bandwidth locally.

Global broadband penetration has been placed at 40%. However, South Africa’s broadband adoption rate is only 11.4%, a fraction of the global average. This low penetration percentage is due to factors such as affordability. Bandwidth costs in South Africa are one of the highest in the world (more than four times greater than the global average).

Another factor is high levels of latency. This prevents those who can connect from a high-quality user experience low speed.
One of the ways to resolve bandwidth data challenge in Africa is to implement networks that can support the applications required to serve the needs of users and clients.

These systems are built to defer bandwidth upgrades, which in turn will save tons of bandwidth for real-time usage. Another way to resolve bandwidth data challenge is to undercover what is using up the largest percentage of bandwidth.  This provides visibility into how that process can be streamlined to reduce the bandwidth usage. It will also provide insights on how to manage it. Increasing the amount of bandwidth used does not solve bandwidth connectivity problems.

In 2013, Google launched Project Link in Africa. These are fiber-optic networks that assist internet service providers (ISPs), and mobile operators provide faster and better broadband. A platform like this is a win-win situation for all parties involved. It boosts up sales and revenue African ISPs and mobile operators, and it also creates opportunities for Google (Google generates 90% of its revenue from ad sales).

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