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Wireless broadband networks would provide a solution to low levels of broadband connectivity in Africa, it has been claimed.

Africa currently lags behind the rest of the world in broadband connections, with less than one per cent of the continent’s population having access.

Similarly, very few states in the continent are equipped with copper wire networks, with geographical and political factors proving a barrier to an extensive roll-out of the technology.

However, according to the chairman of Intel Craig Barrett, who is in Africa for the Intel World Ahead programme, the problem could be surmounted by opting for "cheaper" wireless technologies such as WiMax.

He told BBC Online: "In every African country, except some of the more established economies, cell phones vastly outnumber fixed line phones. "You always have to put the backhaul channels in - which is why you need an overlaid fibre network.

"Once you have that, forget about wires and twisted copper and go directly to broadband wireless technologies like WiMax."

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