Angola Information and Communications Technology
Angola has invested strategically to become an alternative hub for the southern and central region of Africa building datacenters, satellite construction, and optic fibers projects to connect the country internally, to the continent and the world. The government liberalized the telecommunication market that contributed to the people’s access to phones and internet.
Although only 26% of the population are internet users through mostly mobile networks, Angola digital transformation witnesses rapid acceleration. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic led companies and users to accelerate adoption of online platforms and remain sustainable throughout the pandemic by establishing remote working systems. And, the government mitigated impact by ensuring the provision of public services, virtually.
There is major connectivity discrepancy between urban and rural areas. Although Luanda is Angola’s largest and best-connected city, infrastructure, market, and affordability challenges cripple connectivity throughout the country. The objective is to tackle this discrepancy by establishing more infrastructures and players in the market. With 29 satellite earth stations, SAT-3/WASC fiber optic submarine cable providing connectivity to Europe and Asia, AngoSat 1 (Angola’s first communication satellite) built by Russia and failed during launch to launch in 2017, it will be replaced by AngoSat 2 to be launched by end of 2022.
Angola Telecom, the first telco in the country, is one of twelve companies participating in the West Africa Cable System (WACS) consortium, a submarine communications cable running along the west coast of Africa and on to Portugal and the United Kingdom. The
landing station for the older Sat3 cable, located at Cacuaco in Luanda, is operated by Angola Telecom.
Angola Cables is an operator of fiber optic telecommunication systems formed in 2009 by the major Angolan telecommunication companies, Angola Telecom (51%), Unitel (31%), MSTelcom (9%), Movicel (6%), and Mundo Startel (3%). In 2012, Angola Cables signed an agreement to participate in the construction of the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS) of about 6000 km length linking Fortaleza in Brazil with the Angolan capital city of Luanda and started commercial operation in 2018. ADONES (Angola Domestic Network System) consists of 1,800 kilometers of fiber-optic submarine cable linking eight Angolan coastal cities. About 70 percent of Angolans live close to the sea. Other planned fiber optic cables to Angola include SAex and ACE.
Along with benefits gained by process of digital transformation, threats arise to end-users, including the government and private organizations. Although businesses stand as the main target of cyber-attacks, governments face the same risk with severe consequences due to large number of citizens who depend public services and the nature of the information.
The Government of Angola identified cybersecurity as a top priority segment on the digital transformation process. With digital transition in the government administration due to continuous threats and attacks, many projects and programs will be launched to stimulate data use, replication, and protection.
A pool of opportunities exists for US companies that can assist Angola in ensuring their information and infrastructures become secure and resilient. Although the cyber security sector is still emerging, local companies seek to meet minimum technology and security requirements to improve ICT systems across all fields and reduce business interruptions.
Seen as the main driver of digital transformation, cloud computing will provide an environment that will stimulate the promotion of retail payment systems, financial inclusion and business models through colocation, hosting and on-line services. Angola has only five reliable data centers sustained by legislative framework for data security and protection. Companies must establish alternative sources of power and deal with slow internet speeds, expensive data, and scarce fiber network.
- Digital massification nationwide
- Digital transition in the public administration
- Infrastructure’s development (data centers, towers, etc) and
- Datacenters, cybersecurity and relevant trainings
For more information please contact: Lyronel Cafala, Commercial Specialist U.S. Commercial Service, Angola at Manuel.Cafala@trade.gov.