Broadband Internet costs in Africa—home to some of fast-growing markets in key segments of the channel—are set to decrease through a deal announced this week between Mushroom Networks and T48 Internet Solutions. The reseller agreement will bring broadband bonding by Mushroom Networks to more customers in Africa, and perhaps ultimately help to spur cloud and Big Data growth in that region.
Bonding technology makes it possible to fuse more than one Internet connections into a single line, increasing bandwidth and reliability. Those are currently key limitations on growth within the channel in many African countries—which is why, for example, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu Linux and Canonical, launched the Freedom Toaster project to make it easier to redistribute free and open source software to users with limited access to bandwidth.
The deal between Mushroom Networks and T48, a connectivity provider in Africa, promises to make it simpler for African users to download software without having to rely on initiatives such as Freedom Toasters. Through bonding, the partners will deliver faster, more reliable Internet access that take advantage of all types of Internet connections available in a given location—DSL, cable, T1, MPLS, satellite and cellular data networks—and combine them into a single stream.
That, in turn, means more ready and practical access in African markets to cloud services, Big Data and a range of data-intensive Internet content and services such as video and VoIP.
"This partnership is a win-win. With Mushroom Networks' Broadband Bonding, T48 Internet Solutions is able to deliver to their African customers high-speed and redundant connectivity using readily available, low-cost broadband connections,” said Cahit Akin, CEO of Mushroom Networks. "With more and more business-critical services now reliant upon the Internet and the cloud; scalable, cost-effective, readily available bandwidth has never been so important. T48 Internet Solutions can deliver the products and services that businesses need to be efficient and remain competitive, and we can expand broadband bonding's innovation to African companies."
It may be time, then, for the channel to pay closer attention to developing markets in Africa, especially around the cloud and Big Data. After all, given the stagnation of broadband speeds here in the United States, the cloud might have a much brighter future in other parts of the world.