|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Thursday, September 26, 2002
Economist on Intellectual property for developing countries:
"It is entirely reasonable for the world's poorest countries to argue that they need until 2016, at least, to adopt and enforce patents on pharmaceuticals. This stay of execution should, indeed, be extended to all forms of intellectual property. " Reviewing a report
by Barton and the Commission on Intellectual Property Rights: "poor places should avoid committing themselves to rich-world systems of IPR
protection unless such systems are beneficial to their needs. Nor should rich countries, which professed so much interest in “sustainable development” at the recent summit in Johannesburg, push for anything stronger." 10:23:08 PM
Hughes Network Systems Provides AFSAT Communications Ltd. With Broadband Satellite Technology
: "In addition to its Nairobi headquarters and regional offices in Kampala, Uganda, Dar es Salaam and Arusha, Tanzania, AFSAT has distributors in Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. At the present time, distributors are being established in Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, and Malawi. To learn more about iWay visit http://www.iwayafrica.com
." 1:49:51 PM
ITU report on Africa VSATs: Nearly all of Africa’s international bandwidth is provided by satellite. Except for those countries which are connected to and utilising submarine fibre-optic cables (Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, Canary Islands and Cape Verde), satellite presents the only means of carrying international other than terrestrial or microwave links they might have with neighbours. As a result, African countries have a very high dependency on satellite, with the majority of countries more than 95% of international traffic carried by satellite.
The major operators of satellites over Africa are: Anatolia (Kalitel), Europestar, Eutelsat, Intelsat, Lockheed Martin, New Skies, and PanAmSat. These operators’ fleets of satellites have overlapping footprints in both C-band and Ku-band which between them cover every inch of the continent. However, the existing satellites above Africa are heavily subscribed. There is simply not much capacity left, and it is increasingly difficult to lease capacity on them. However, new satellites are being launched - notably Stellat 5 in May 2002, and New Skies Satellites will launch NSS 7 on 16 April.
We are witnessing the emergence of a new breed of service provider, regional IP operators with the ability to offer voice, data and broadcast and - limited in their ability to offer communication services only by the licensing regime of whichever country they are present in. A key factor for the economic development of African countries is that these commercial operators select those countries as target markets in which they can obtain licences to operate. 1:40:54 PM
: "Kooconsult has launched a Public Internet Access Booth Service called NETTKIOSK. The service which would be made available through franchises in all African countries , has taken off in Cape Coast, Ghana. " Uses VSATs, charges about $1 per hour, 2000 franchises planned by end-2003. 1:08:15 PM
Gilat Satellite in Africa
: "Earlier this year, Gilat was selected by the World Bank to provide a VSAT network that will bring broadband Internet access to African schools. The project was made possible by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A pilot program involving schools in Uganda is now in progress and the VSAT network is expected to eventually reach hundreds of schools throughout Africa, especially in Senegal, Ghana and Tanzania." Gilat also claims 3000 locations in rural South Africa and 500 in Ethiopia for local telecom companies. 12:19:19 PM
BCR eForum: "capital expenditure (CapEx) by carriers: Three quarters of US carrier CapEx comes from the ILECs (Bell South, Qwest, SBC and Verizon) and the IXCs (Alltel, AT&T, Level3, Sprint and Worldcom). ILEC spending dropped from $12B in the first quarter of 2001 to just over $6B in the first quarter of 2002, and IXC spending fell from roughly $8B to $4B in the same time period. ..
It appears that Worldcom believed, as so many others did, that Internet traffic was doubling every 4 months, growing by a factor of 8 annually. Unfortunately, there is no single definitive source for data on Internet traffic growth. The best evidence is that it has not grown much faster than doubling every year recently (though Larry Roberts and some other experts disagree), and that currently it is probably growing at less than 100% a year. As the Worldcom bankruptcy shows, the consequences for making an inaccurate projection here can be colossal. ..
We did not get into this crisis because Internet traffic growth slowed. It hardly slowed at all during the dot com crash and the recession, booming at roughly 80% to 100% annually. The big problem is not traffic growth; it is revenue growth, or the lack thereof. Internet service revenues are running under $16B a year. According to RHK, Internet service revenues have been at $3.9B a quarter, and stuck at that level with no growth, for 6 quarters. Clearly, the price erosion in Internet services has been savage, a clear indication of commoditization in this market. But let's put this in perspective. The Internet is still a small part of the overall telecom picture. Enterprises spend over $200B on all forms of communication annually in the U.S. So it is incorrect to blame the Internet for all the woes of telecom." 9:31:25 AM