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
Tigo supports 19th Ghana journalist awardsMobile Network Operator Tigo Ghana has presented 10 tablets valued at GHC20,000 to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) towards the annual Journalist Awards scheduled to take place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra. Read More
Africell DRC to launch 3G services end-2014Africell DRC is set to launch its 3G services at the end of the year, a source close to the company told Biztechafrica this week. Read More
The impact of Movitel on ICT in MozambiqueMovitel is reported to be contributing to changing the information communication landscape in Mozambique. Read More
SSA telecoms growing faster than any other regionThe African telecoms market is set to be one of the main growth success stories for the telecoms sector in the next 5 years, according to a new report. Read More
Tigo introduces unified short code for products and servicesTigo Ghana has announced the installation of a world-class IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that will give both its pre-paid and post-paid customers the opportunity to access all its product through a unified short code, 555. Read More
TNM to conduct biggest promotion pay-outTNM will on August 26 splash out over K100 million in its Ufulu@50 Promotion, the biggest payout in a single day in the history of promotions in Malawi. Read More
We don’t patronise fake OEMs, says GloGlobacom has said it does not patronise substandard original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telecoms equipment vendors. Read More
Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnectionAfricell, which began operations in the DRC in June 2012, has yet to enjoy interconnection. Read More
Telecom Namibia: WACS repairs to start this weekendRepair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend, says Telecom Namibia. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSSage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth
Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.