Africa leads in mobile growth and impact
TELECOMS| Nov. 11, 2013, 3:07 p.m.
By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya
Mobile telephony is an economic booster in Africa and would create 6.6 million jobs in the region by 2020, a new GSMA report reveals.
Released today, the report, “Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Economy 2013” shows that mobile contributes over six per cent of the region’s GDP, higher than any other comparable region globally, and this would rise to over eight per cent by 2020.
Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer at GSMA, said despite the significant impact of the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years, even greater opportunities are ahead.
According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa’s unique mobile subscriber base has grown by 18 per cent annually over the last five years, making it the fastest growing region globally.
“Beyond further growth for voice services, the region is starting to see an explosion in the uptake of mobile data. However, a short-term focus by some countries on generating high spectrum fees and maximising tax revenue risks constraining the potential of the mobile Internet,” said Phillips.
"Last year, the mobile ecosystem directly supported 3.3 million jobs and contributed US $21 billion to public funding in the region, including licence fees. By 2020, mobile is set to double its economic effect, employing 6.6 million men and women in the region and contributing US $42 billion to public funding," reads the report in part.
This is GSMA latest comprehensive study of the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"By mid-2013, there were 253 million unique mobile subscribers and 502 million connections. With many countries in the region seeing fixed line penetration rates of less than five per cent, mobile has emerged as the main medium for accessing the internet across Sub-Saharan Africa. While 2G connections still dominate in the region, 3G and 4G networks are gaining scale and smartphone ownership is on the rise. With unique subscriber penetration rates still less than 33 per cent, this opens up a major opportunity for growth in the next five years.
The report calls onoperators and investors to fund the substantial investment needed to extend coverage to remote areas and meet the growing demand for higher speed connectivity.
According to the GSMA report, the future of the mobile industry depends spectrum management whereby new spectrum is assigned using economically efficient methods that balance the socio-economic benefits with the capital expenditure required to deploy advanced networks.
The report says spectrum should, as a matter of priority, be assigned to those operators that have previously demonstrated an ability to use the spectrum efficiently.
"With a number of existing spectrum licences coming up for renewal across the region, regulators must establish a transparent and predictable process for granting spectrum licences and renewing spectrum usage rights in order to allow operators to plan their investments. The renewal of spectrum usage rights should also be based on recovering administrative costs and promoting investment instead of maximising short-term fees," reads the report in part.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
CTO chief seeks judicious spectrum valuation by African regulatorsThe Secretary-General of the CTO has advised African telecoms regulators to apportion appropriate value to spectrum. Read More
NCA to review the impact of OTT services on Ghana’s Telecom IndustryThe National Communication Authority (NCA) has said in a statement that it will review the OTT services situation and will in due course take decisions for an enabling regulatory environment that will benefit all stakeholders. Read More
Bharti Airtel announces new MD for UgandaBharti Airtel has announced the appointment of Anwar Soussa as the Managing Director of Airtel Uganda, with effect from 1 June 2016. Read More
Airtel opens new service outlet in LagosAirtel Nigeria, has opened a new service outlet, 'Expo Centre' at 47 Adeola Odeku Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Read More
Mayor opens new ICT shopHer Worship the Mayor of Francistown has opened the doors of a new ICT initiative in Francistown, in the form of a shop from the country’s leading mobile communications provider, Mascom. Read More
Africell, Airtel on collision course over cableUganda’s Africell is set for a legal battle with Airtel as the two trade accusations over the theft of fibre optic cables. Read More
Vodacom coasts home with two industry awardsVodacom Business Nigeria has won two prestigious awards at the Beacon of ICT (BoICT) Awards ceremony. Read More
Vodafone Ghana to reward whistleblowers on cable theftVodafone Ghana is enlisting the help of the general public to help curb cable theft across the country. Read More
MTN Cameroon renews subscriber identificationMTN Cameroon has launched a nationwide campaign that will run until June 2016 to confirm the identity of each subscriber. Read More
Dairo, Ogiemwanye, Uwaoma now Directors at Etisalat NigeriaEtisalat Nigeria has announced the appointment of Adeolu Dairo as Director, Consumer Segment, Elvis Ogiemwanye as Director, Brand & Experience and Eric Uwaoma as Director, Enterprise Segment. Read More
FEATURED STORYGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early
Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa
IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.
COMPANY NEWSEnhancing your security posture to fight new ransomware threats
Petya ransomware is proving to be one of the top cybersecurity stories of 2016.Arbor stops malware in its tracks
There is always a substantial amount of banking trojan activity taking place, however, recent developments have intensified the threat landscape.