266m sub-Saharan phone users by 2017

TELECOMS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
266m sub-Saharan phone users by 2017

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan,  the ‘Sub Saharan African Communications Quantitative Quarterly Tracker Q3 2012’, covering key countries in the region, finds that the market had 181.7 million mobile and fixed telephony subscribers and 29.8 million internet subscribers in 2010, and estimates this to reach 266.1 million mobile and fixed telephony subscribers and 77.5 million internet subscribers in 2017. This expansion will be driven primarily by demand and uptake of mobile voice and internet services.

The report noted that broadband penetration in African countries is significantly low, with a majority of countries recording penetration levels of less than 5%. This has had a considerable impact on internet usage levels in the region. African countries, however, have experienced a steady uptake of mobile communications and are poised to witness an appreciable growth of mobile, broadband and internet services over the next 4-5 years.

"The growth of voice and internet markets in Africa is expected to be driven by a decline in retail price for these services," noted Frost & Sullivan's Information & Communication Technologies Business Unit Leader for Africa, Chantel Lindeman.

"Operators in the region are investing significantly in mobile infrastructure, including base stations and transmission networks. This is expected to result in the availability of higher network capacity at lower cost, with operators spurring growth by passing savings in network costs to the end users of services."

Operators are investing in shared terrestrial fibre optic infrastructure to increase transmission capacities and connect end users to undersea cables. They are also adopting infrastructure sharing at base stations to minimise the overall cost of delivering services to end users. Cost minimisation is likely to translate to lower retail prices of voice and internet services and push up demand and uptake levels.

The key challenge to growth and increased penetration of voice and internet markets in Africa is the low disposable income of a majority of consumers. The cost of devices required for the uptake of internet services is generally perceived to be high. As a result, operators in the region are likely to experience significantly low levels of new subscription to voice and internet services in the short-term.

To facilitate wider uptake of mobile voice and internet services, African operators are likely to analyse models utilised in developing markets in the region.

"Operators should learn from experiences in the uptake of mobile telephony services in African countries, such as Kenya, that have experienced notable penetration levels," advised Lindeman. "They should engage governments to offer tax subsidies on mobile phones, laptops and smartphones that are required to access internet services. In addition, operators can extend their range of internet access packages to meet the budget capabilities of more consumers."



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

BTCL exhibits at Global Expo

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited took time out from its IPO woes to exhibit at the just ended Botswana Global Expo, an annual event organised by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC). Read More

Samsung: Nigeria a strategic market

Samsung Electronics West Africa says the Nigerian market is strategic to its business in sub-Saharan Africa.  Read More

Ivory Coast builds 2 000 km fibre optic network

A 2 000 km fibre optic network is currently under construction in Ivory Coast, 1 600km of which will connect western and north-western parts of the country and 600 km to interlink cities and towns located in the north-eastern regions. Read More

‎TNM introduces new mobile internet services

Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM), one if the country's two mobile phones services provider, on Wednesday stepped up another gear in its mobile internet services with the launch of what the company is calling 'Revolutionary Smart Data Package'. Read More

Airtel, British Council sign digital learning MOU

Airtel Malawi has signed a three-year-long partnership with the British Council that will connect primary school classrooms in the country with ICT facilities. Read More

Burkina Faso makes available 20m new mobile numbers

Burkina Faso has made available about 20 million new mobile numbers to help operators allocate them to their potential new users. Read More

NCC, NESREA close ranks on setbacks for BTS

The NCC and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enfor‎cement Agency have harmonised their position on the appropriate setback distance for new telecoms BTS.  Read More

Huawei to build Congo-Gabon network

Huawei has won the contract to build a fibre optic network that will interconnect Congo Brazzaville and Gabon. Read More

MTN Ghana wins ICT company of the year award

MTN Ghana, the leading telecommunications company in Ghana, has been adjudged the best Information Communication Technology Company of the Year at the 3rd edition of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Awards.  Read More

Airtel to divest Zambia, Rwanda tower assets to IHS

Bharti Airtel Limited today announced agreements under which IHS will acquire over 1,100 telecoms towers across Zambia and Rwanda. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

PWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for somePWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some

PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.

IN DEPTH

Africa lags on digital migration Africa lags on digital migration

Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.