Wi-Fi trends in South Africa in 2018

The South African telecommunications market continues to evolve, with Wi-Fi remaining a prominent technology in this evolution.

Wi-Fi continues to become faster and more ubiquitous, and remains a popular technology to keep users connected.

To see what the local telecoms market has in store for 2018, MyBroadband spoke to Riaan Graham, director for sales in sub-Saharan Africa for Ruckus Networks.

What trends do you expect to see this year?

Looking into 2018, we believe the state of the Wi-Fi industry continues to look positive.

The bottom line is that Wi-Fi is the most suitable solution for the data challenges arising from a worldwide infatuation with, and insatiable demand for, extended and better wireless data services of all types – a utility certainly worth the investment.

Furthermore, the trends below are marking the Wi-Fi landscape:

  • Increasing effective connectivity – we are seeing positive signs with regards to infrastructure developments across the continent, critical to Africa’s data and connectivity needs.
  • The advent of smarter cities – there are a few things preventing Africa from truly connecting wirelessly to the Internet, and as these barriers fall, we are likely to see larger African cities roll out smart city initiatives. The technology is available, but it’s up to local governments to bring budgets and departments together to make this a reality.
  • The role of fibre in Africa – The story of fibre in South Africa has just begun. Government plans to have fibre cables in place throughout South Africa by 2020 and there is still a far way to go – especially outside highly-affluent areas. The good news is that there are a number of service providers who are focusing on fibre and driving residential connections, as more connections come online and speeds increase, prices start to drop.
  • Technology driving service delivery – As the urbanisation of cities continues to grow, we will see that efficiencies in service delivery in these cities become key to connectivity. How do such cities scale to service a growing urban population? Think of basic services such as water management, traffic management, and waste management. All of these services are under strain. With the development of Smart City initiatives, new technologies such as IoT will be used to address these ever-increasing demands. Wi-Fi is the ideal technology to use as backhaul for IoT sensors… and will drive the mass adoption of IoT in our cities.

What were your most popular products in 2017?

2017 was a great year for Ruckus Wireless. We witnessed the biggest uptake of the following products:

  • All our outdoor Wi-Fi products which are used for hotspots.
  • The Ruckus R510 802.11ac was on the same level of demand, which is mainly used in medium-to-large indoor enterprise environments.

What can we expect from Ruckus in 2018?

2018 will see a new, streamlined channel partner programme that brings more benefits to the channel and enable stronger business opportunities.

Ruckus will also launch the ICX switching platform in the South African market.

This deployment is key to enabling businesses to scale and future-proof their network infrastructure, to meet the increasing demand of wired and wireless network requirements.

Furthermore, with regards to products, while I can’t give it all away right now, what I can say is that we have a whole sweep of products entrenched into the market which are expected to continue to perform exceptionally well.

Now read: Better Wi-Fi security announced

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Wi-Fi trends in South Africa in 2018