Continued concern around the economy 

A survey conducted in October last year found that 72% of ICT industry executives are seriously concerned with the prospect of economic downturn in South Africa and the impact that it could have on their businesses, while 60% are still concerned about political uncertainty, the same level that was observed before the 2019 National Elections. 

Click here for more information on the SA Digital Enterprise Survey 2019

Cloud adoption gains pace

With the local Microsoft Azure cloud officially live as well as the Huawei cloud being available locally, the AWS and Oracle clouds coming soon and VMWare partnering with everyone, cloud is rapidly gaining pace in South Africa and is set to grow to R23.6bn by 2023. Data domicile and latency as objections are something of the past and conversations have moved from whether or not to adopt cloud to how cloud is going to be implemented.

Click here for more information on the SA Cloud Computing Overview & Market Sizing 2019

SD-WAN impacts MPLS market 

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a major disruptive force impacting players in the traditional IP VPN space. Initially the primary impact is price pressure as large MPLS users negotiate reductions in orchestration layer charges while simultaneously demanding higher underlying transmission capacity. However, a few large customers are ripping and replacing their MPLS VPN with SD-WANs.

Click here for more information on the SA Data Services Market Forecast & Analysis 2018

Death of copper extends alternative connectivity growth 

Driven by open access facilities, broadband growth is re-invigorated as Telkom actively phases out its copper network. In the residential segment, FTTH revenue grows by 20% to reach R4.9 billion in 2020, while Telkom continues to drive strongly into the fixed-mobile market with its LTE-A services.

Click here for more information on the The Future of Broadband in South Africa 2019

5G downpour ahead

Rain’s 5G deployment was well in line with global trends: the timing was similar, the service offered (fixed-wireless broadband access) was the most common (if not the only) 5G service offered worldwide, and the most common spectrum used was the same ‘golden band’ (3.5GHz) available to rain. The sheer pace of this 5G deployment globally forced many analysts to revise up their forecasts in 2019.

Rain’s compelling, uncapped offer competes squarely with fibre, especially as they broaden coverage and extend to other cities. Liquid Telecom, supported by Vodacom, may emerge as a strong contender, although they are well behind in rollout. South Africa will see 5G smartphones in the market soon, but will sadly not have practical use for these phones in 2020, as the two large mobile operators lack requisite spectrum to provide viable mobile footprint.

Click here for more information on the Roads to 5G for South Africa 2019

National and Provincial Government spend on ICT will top R20bn

The South African national and provincial government’s ICT spend was estimated to have been just over R19bn in 2018/2019, and is projected to grow at around 3.8% to reach R21.4bn in 2021/2022. The top five ICT spenders account for 71% of total ICT spend of the 40 national departments, but the dominance that this group has held in the past few years is slowly eroding, as 17 departments now spend over R100m annually on ICT, comprising 92% of national ICT spend. 

Click here for more information on the SA ICT Spend in National and Provincial Government 2019

Software defined everything

Hyper Converged Infrastructure is a key trend in the Hardware market.The main purpose of HCI is to provide a single consolidated unit or appliance that has all the necessary functions including compute, network and storage. This will lead to simplified infrastructure deployments and a lower total cost of ownership.

There will also be an acceleration from hardware-based technology to software-based systems, a computing approach that relies on a virtualised infrastructure delivered as a service through software. This will enable the leveraging of HCI.

Click here for more information on the SA IT Services Market Forecast & Analysis 2019 Update

The light is on spectrum

The country remains starved of wireless spectrum – needed to bring down pricing, speed up LTE capabilities and expedite 5G deployment. ICASA’s process for assigning spectrum and appointing a consortium to roll out the WOAN has taken a possible step forward, with the window for responding to draft proposals on the process now in, and in the next month or two, South Africa will know how convergent industry thinking is around the current plans. Whatever transpires, it is critical for that spectrum to be made available to operators soon. 

Click here for more information on the SA Future of Telecoms 2020

AI embedded everywhere

Organisations are becoming more open to utilising emerging technologies as they seek to innovate, remain competitive and even disrupt incumbents. While hyperscalers remain at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, service providers of all sizes are looking to embed it wherever possible in their offerings, to give their customers the benefit of assisted decision making and automation.

Click here for more information on the SA IT Market Overview Sizing & Forecast 2019 Update

Streaming media marches on

A key trend for 2020 will be the continued growth of video-streaming services, and the usage of those platforms in South Africa. Over the past 18 months, we have seen an increase of over 35% in usage of paid-for streaming services like Netflix and Showmax, with over 80% of those with fibre internet at home saying that they use at least one streaming service. Meanwhile, more than 50% of internet-connected consumers say that they are using YouTube regularly on their mobile devices. 

Click here for more information on the SA Digital Consumer Programme 2019

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