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

Kenya launches phase 2 of national fibre project

Dr Fred Matiangi, cabinet secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of ICT, has launched phase two of the National Optic Fibre Backbone Infrastructure (NOFBI) project, which looks to ease communication across counties and improve government service delivery. Read More

MACRA welcomes new DG

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has a new Director General, Mr. Andrew Kumbatira.  Read More

Safaricom welcomes security scrutiny of SIM overlay technology

Safaricom has welcomed the Communications Authority (CA) of Kenya’s decision to give tentative approval to the roll out of the SIM overlay technology. Read More

NCA urged to fight the rise of SIM Boxing in Ghana

Ghana’s National Communication Authority is being urged to consider reducing or taking away indefinitely the 19 cent being charged on international calls into the country.  Read More

Vodacom: no plans to sell SA telecoms towers

Vodacom currently has no intention of selling its tower infrastructure in South Africa in spite of the continent-wide trend towards leasing rather than owning towers, saying the market drivers in the country are different to elsewhere in Africa. Read More

Vodacom Congo outgoing, new boss meet DRC Prime Minister

Outgoing Vodacom Congo Managing Director, South African-born Godfrey Motsa, last week went to the Office of DRC Prime Minister Matata Ponyo to say good bye and thanks as his term at the helm of the mobile operator ended this month. Read More

Tigo Ghana upgrades Customer Support Centres

As part of efforts to offer its customers highly interactive and a more satisfying experience, telecom service provider, Tigo, says it is upgrading its customer support centres to ‘Customer Experience Centres’.  Read More

Vodacom Congo to extend coverage to Central DRC

Mobile operator Vodacom is preparing to extend its network coverage to the central regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read More

Glo grows subscriber figures to 27.3 million

Globacom says it has worked assiduously to grow its subscriber base to some 27.3 million. By this latest figure, the telco has overtaken Airtel. Read More

Phase3 Telecom upgrades Adam Smith’s facility

Stanley Jegede Phase3 Telecom has upgraded its communications solutions offering to Adam Smith West Africa’s operations. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

MFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmersMFarmer SMS redefines market access for Ugandan farmers

Ugandan smallholder farmers are benefitting from an ambitious innovative ICT mobile phone initiative that offers weather reports and up-to-date market information about changes in prices for agricultural commodities, thus granting them lucrative returns from their farming ventures. 

IN DEPTH

iProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTsiProcure delivers inputs to farmers’ doorsteps using ICTs

An innovation dubbed iProcure is already being used by several agro input firms which are now relying on it to distribute their products to farmers. 

COMPANY NEWS

Schneider Electric signs exclusive off-grid solar distribution agreement with Zimbabwean firm

Schneider Electric has announced the signing of an exclusive agreement with Samansco, a Zimbabwean renewable energy, back-up power and appropriate technology company.

SAP Innovation Helps The Global Fund Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

Extending a longstanding partnership, SAP is a founding member of The Global Fund’s new Innovation Coalition to support disease prevention and treatment.