Important opportunities to improve health care for both curative and preventive purposes are being developed that are aimed at improving connectivity and communication between patients and their care providers. These opportunities necessarily include as one element connectivity to and from medical devices and systems.
A key question on everyone’s minds is how to improve broadband service and penetration, and accelerate our ICT development index in the process. Service providers are exploring a variety of wireless technologies. Mobile operators, with their aggressive investment plans and marketing muscle, have already demonstrated their ability to make a major difference. Convergence now means fixed line players are also investigating and deploying the same technologies – e.g. Telkom’s W-CDMA rollout. As the old adage goes the three most important priorities in this regard are (a) spectrum, (b) spectrum and (c) spectrum.
Next generation mobile technology could relegate WiMax to a niche position in Africa as a wireless broadband solution in a continent that has a higher penetration of mobile phones with internet access than fixed lines.
WiMax will face stiff competition from mobile networks, although it will still have a greater impact in those developing countries in which it is given a reasonable head start over mobile broadband networks in Africa – by mid-2008 there were already 14 commercial HSPA networks in nine African countries.