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Thread: SA web use growing.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    SA web use growing.

    I know someone asked this here a while ago - Just how many South Africans are on the internet? Well, here's some answers.
    Internet usage in South Africa is skyrocketing. The number of active South African browsers on the web has grown by 121% from 1,8-million in May 2005 to 3,9-million in May this year. In the same period, the number of page impressions grew by 129% from 91-million to 207-million.

    These are the key findings of South Africa's Exploding Internet a research report released on Monday by Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in internet media and market research.

    "In terms of the number of people using the internet, the most developed markets in the northern hemisphere have seen a plateauing of growth over the last year or so. In contrast, South Africa has seen phenomenal expansion -- growing by around 50% in each of the last two years," explains Alex Burmaster, internet analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings.

    "This type of growth is, of course, something we have seen across all markets as the internet has taken hold and moved away from a niche activity to a very mainstream form of media and the integral part of life."

    Striking in the research findings is the huge share of English speakers within the South African internet population. English is primarily spoken at home by about two million South Africans, which adds up to 52% of the internet population. The other big chunk is taken by Afrikaans at 28%, leaving African languages far behind.

    Says Burmaster: "The majority of the internet population speaks English and the vast majority of online content is English. While the South African internet is experiencing huge growth in this area, the opportunity for hyper-audience growth in the future lies in targeting African-language speakers."

    Among South African web users, 22% have a degree and 15% have a postgraduate degree. There are slightly more men (54%) than women, and the age group of 18 to 29 years old accounts for 35% of users.

    Unsurprisingly, 44% of the South African internet population lives in Gauteng and 18% in Cape Town. The rest of the web users are scattered throughout South Africa.
    from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member SilverNodashi's Avatar
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    Where did you get these stats from?

    In 2001 I read somewhere that SA had 3 million internet banking users. Surely this included businesses, who often don't surf the net, yet use if for business only. I'd like to see what the stats look like currentyl

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftDux View Post
    Where did you get these stats from?
    The source is linked at the bottom of the post
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    According to Internetworldstats South Africa had 5,1mil internet users in Sept 06. I wonder how accurate the Nielsen//NetRatings figures are being projected by MG

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think this might just add to the confusion, but for what it's worth:

    Connectivity in SA: 'Heads should roll'
    Despite the massive growth in broadband connectivity, the number of South Africans with access to the internet will grow by little more than 3% in 2007, according to a research report released on Thursday.

    The study, titled Internet Access in South Africa 2007 and compiled by technology research consultancy World Wide Worx, shows that 3,85-million people in South Africa -- a mere 8% of the population (or one in 12 people) -- will have access to the internet by the end of 2007.

    “Despite the dramatic rise of broadband usage, this is the slowest growth we've seen in overall user numbers since the arrival of the internet in South Africa," said World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck, who has been tracking the internet market since 1993.

    The study shows that there will be more than 800 000 broadband subscriber accounts active in South Africa at the end of this year. However, these represent only 650 000 unique users. And, of these, one-third also use another form of connectivity.

    "The harsh reality is that broadband has not yet made a major impact on overall connectivity numbers, even while dramatically increasing the usage of those who are already connected. The majority of broadband users are simply migrating up the connectivity food chain, from dial-up to broadband. So, while the haves get more, the have-nots remain locked out," added Goldstuck.

    He told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday that, in theory, the launch of the second national operator, Neotel, should have made a dramatic difference. However, in reality, the launch had had no effect whatsoever. "Until a service is rolled out we can't have any expectations," he said.

    "When one thinks of the implication of these stats, it's deeply frustrating. The big issue over the last decade is that no effort is being made to ensure the broad South African population benefits ... really, heads should roll for the lack of progress. The purpose of the Telecommunications Act is not to make life better for the rich."

    According to the study, dial-up users are falling dramatically this year, dropping by 122 000 users and falling below the million mark for the first time since 2001. This can be partly attributed to the growth of broadband within the dial-up user base. The report also reveals the limited extent to which new users are coming on board at the entry level.

    Goldstuck said the high cost of local calls set by fixed-line operator Telkom will not come down in August, which is a major obstacle to internet connectivity. "Add to that the fact that line rental is, in fact, going up in price, placing yet another limit on the growth of fixed lines, and you have a no-win situation for the mass market."

    This makes Telkom both the villain and the hero of internet connectivity in South Africa, he said.

    Telkom's ADSL offering has been the main driver of broadband adoption in South Africa for the past four years. While it is expected to be overtaken by MTN's and Vodacom's 3G mobile broadband offerings by the end of 2007 in number of connections, it will continue to be the principal form of connectivity for most broadband users until at least 2009. Many of these will use 3G as a back-up connection or for use when out of the office or home, Goldstuck said.

    The study shows that the only broadband offering attracting large numbers of new users, rather than upgrading existing users, is iBurst, the wireless broadband service from WBS. Until now the growth of iBurst has been held back by availability, but through its relationship with Vodacom it is expected to have a dramatic impact over the next two years.

    Goldstuck said that Vodacom's new internet service provider; Neotel's offerings expected in the coming months; and the effect of metropolitan city councils offering wireless broadband were not included in projections or expectations of growth for 2007 and 2008, due to the still undefined nature of these offerings. However, he sees these as major interventions in connectivity growth and experience.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    I read somewhere that the SA market is in the region of +- 2 million inet users
    Wellinformed.co.za - Networking Forums SA partner site. Let's support each other for a better South Africa.

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    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Well to be honest, I think that the internet usage has to be estimated by most. How do they accurately establish figures with large companies working of 1 single IP address and other factors that makes it more difficult to accurately estimate numbers. If I look at http://sales.24.com/usage.asp and the amount of unique visitors given for News24 I believe that 5 mil is a closer estimate. But then thinking about it a bit longer... How many of these visitors comes only from South Africa? The only way to even remotely estimate these figures is to get the info from the ISP's. Then again, how many people has more than one ISP, I for one have three ISP's that I am using... Tricky one...

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    Gold Member Dave S's Avatar
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    I think the figures are more of an "educated thumb-suck", sort of guidelines only, and don't reflect true figures within, say... 1/2 million users or so. What actually surprises me is the exhorbitant expense of the internet in S.A. Does anyone else think its expensive?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think those numbers in my last post talk to subscriber accounts. So taking some of those numbers:

    < 1 million subscribers on dial-up
    800 000 broadband subscriber accounts active in South Africa at the end of this year. However, these represent only 650 000 unique users. And, of these, one-third also use another form of connectivity.

    Giving about 1.8 million subscriber accounts. I think the "unique users" part comes from different subscriber accounts being used down the same ADSL line. I seem to recall Bullfrog, for example, has 2 subscriber accounts he switches between.

    As Chatmaster points out - this doesn't help show user numbers - there could be any number of users behind any given connection.

    But it certainly points to infrastructure roll-out - which I think is being hurt by both cost and service levels.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Chatmaster's Avatar
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    Don't even get me started on the cost issue. I believe that the future is looking truly sad for most South Africans as the technology era is speeding up and the young people are left behind. Telkom imo is the worst evil for future unemployment in South Africa as the young people that will need to understand the internet will not be able to do so because they simply cannot afford the expensive prices driven by Telkom's monopoly and greed.

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