South Africa’s R100-billion telecoms market is expected to grow exponentially over the next three years to some R140-billion by 2011, information technology (IT) market analyst BMI-TechKnowledge’s latest survey indicates.

The business enterprise sector occupied 47% of the market, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounting for 95% and corporates 5%, while the residential and informal market occupied the rest.

Strong growth and “heaps of opportunity” in the IT sector was expected to result in increased spend, from the 7,5% in hardware, 6,4% in services and 6% in software for 2006/7 year, BMI-T IT research manager Roy Blume said on Tuesday at a briefing held in Johannesburg.

Corporate sector IT spend in the next year was expected to increase notably, compared with SMEs, which were expected to find “ways of doing more with what they have”, he said.

A BMI-T survey conducted early this year revealed that some companies in the corporate sector were anticipating increased IT spend of 60% in 2007/8, while a large number of SME’s expected spending between 20% and 25% more.

Further, SME’s were “looking at the security environment more seriously” and expected to either increase spend or find alternate ways of tackling spam and viruses, using their existing packages.

“Seventy-four percent of SMEs see viruses as the biggest threat,” Blume said.

Big corporates, on the other hand, were “looking more in the direction of employees than at viruses” in breaching security.