Mapping is a tall order. On one hand, the concession stands that no maps are without distortions, and on the other, that the value of a map is in its accuracy. Cartographers have the daunting task of working within these constrictions, while remaining cautious not to misrepresent information. Maps are powerful; they help us to navigate between the mental perception of space and objective reality, distances and destinations—between knowledge and ignorance. Maps are the narratives of the geographies we inhabit and experience.
At HIP Consult we abide by a candid slogan: revealing business. This is our innate mission each time we draw a new map feature. Over the past year our dedicated team of analysts diligently researched, mapped, remapped, reviewed, and analyzed fiber-optics networks per telecom provider in Africa. The end-result is a charted journey across 55 countries to reveal existing and future fiber infrastructure in a rapidly and tumultuously changing continent.
InfraNav™, HIP Consult’s new interactive mapping tool, provides an effective means to track and study the expansion fiber optic networks in Africa using interactive and analytical tools.
InfraNav™ will assist professionals the ICT industry to make better informed decisions regarding the development of Africa’s telecommunication infrastructure. InfraNav™ is a versatile GIS tool that can help with managing the successful implementation of strategic solutions by providing relevant and up-to-date information on:
How many people live within a given radius of a fiber network;
Where service providers can find collocating opportunities to save on costs and invest in untapped markets;
Which passive infrastructures, such as power line grids or railways, are suitable options for future fiber expansion projects; and
Where to locate future projects based on demographic trends and forecast demand.
InfraNav™ depicts a distinct story of the emergence, current status, and potential trajectory of the development of telecommunication infrastructures in Africa—the home of more than one billion diverse peoples, and a rich landscape which stretches thrice the size of the contiguous United States. The world is taking notice of the rapid development occurring in Africa. Foreign investments are expected to topple a record $80 billion by the end of 2014, a trend confirmed by the recent commitment from U.S. firms to invest more than $14 billion in sectors varying from banking to information technology. Africa may still be catching up in providing accessible bandwidth to its citizens, yet household Internet access continues to grow by double-digits. Case in point: the number of internet users in Africa has doubled in just the past four years, representing a fifth of the continent’s total population.
As we chart Africa’s connectivity, we will periodically share insights about current projects, impacts, and changes stemmed from the continent’s fundamental transformation in its communication infrastructure. The mapping of African fiber optic infrastructure is not just an exciting story of economic growth; it is an essential asset in understanding the potential for future investment and development in a century of unprecedented flow of information.