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
Preparing for the next evolution in the telecoms landscapeChange is coming to the telecoms market, as increased competition, reduced cost of services and changing business models pave the way for new services, new solutions and more pervasive communication to connect more users, more affordably, says Jasco. Read More
MTN notes ruling by International Arbitration PanelMTN Group has noted that a tribunal of independent arbitrators has ruled against Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, in the investor-state arbitration under a bilateral investment treaty case held in terms of the rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Read More
Vodacom enhances enterprise voice suiteVodacom Business Nigeria has enhanced its enterprise voice suite with the launch of two new solutions, Business Connect and Business Express. Read More
Telecom Namibia receives NTA certificationTelecom Namibia Training Centre has been endorsed by the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), the national body responsible for the registration of vocational training centres and institutes, to deliver a wide range of general IP/IT training programmes. Read More
Tigo supports Ghana Military AcademyTigo Ghana has presented smartphones and 1-year fully connected modems to graduating cadet officers of the Ghana Military Academy at the Military Academy and Training Schools (MATS) in Accra. Read More
Airtel slashes Rwanda roaming ratesAirtel Kenya has announced a reduction of call rates by 60% and free incoming calls for customers roaming to Rwanda. Read More
Tigo management interacts with customersAs part of Tigo’s Global Customer Service Week celebrations, the entire management of Tigo Ghana worked in their customer care shops across the country. Read More
Airtel joins UN Global CompactBharti Airtel has officially joined the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative that relies on public accountability, transparency and disclosure to complement regulations and to provide space for innovation and collective action. Read More
MainOne: ‘protect submarine cables’MainOne has joined government agencies, maritime bodies and other stakeholders with responsibilities in seabed use to clamour for the protection of submarine cables and other critical IT infrastructure. Read More
Viettel Mozambique named fastest-growing MEA companyMovitel, a subsidiary of Viettel Group in Mozambique, has been named Gold Winner of “Fastest Growing of the Year in Middle-East and Africa” Award. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica 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.
COMPANY NEWSCNN, MultiChoice name top African Journalist 2014
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony.