Lower prices, social media, spur African mobile broadband
MOBILE| March 13, 2012, 3:36 p.m.
A new report by Frost & Sullivan says affordable handsets and a boom in social media usage will spur mobile broadband markets in West and Central Africa.
The report says in recent years, the West and Central African region has witnessed a dramatic increase in mobile broadband connections, mainly due to the surge in mobile broadband connections in Nigeria.
Effective regulatory environments have made Nigeria and Ghana among the most dynamic broadband markets in sub-Saharan Africa with over 150 market participants and massive terrestrial infrastructure development. With the deployment of advanced technologies, such as 3G networks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon, mobile broadband subscribers are expected to outpace fixed broadband connections in these two countries over the next 5 years.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, West and Central African Broadband Market Tracker, finds that the market (covering Nigeria, Ghana, DRC and Gabon) earned revenues of approximately USD1.2 billion in 2010 and estimates this to reach USD2.5 billion in 2017. The low levels of broadband penetration in the four countries indicate that there are significant growth opportunities in the short-to-long term.
"The availability of cost-effective mobile and wireless solutions will be a key market driver," notes Frost & Sullivan's Information and Communications Technologies Research Analyst Mervin Miemoukanda. "At the same time, greater demand for access to social media platforms will emerge as the most important factor for market participants to formulate their strategy for this year."
Rising demand for broadband services in the region has helped reduce the cost of customer-premises equipment, as well as smartphones. Internet service providers (ISPs) have introduced affordable Chinese customer-premises equipment to render broadband services to consumers.
"Furthermore, broadband providers are expected to increase partnerships with equipment vendors to reduce the cost of customer-premises equipment," adds Miemoukanda. "The impact of this driver is expected to be high throughout the forecast period, as mobile operators are shifting focus on growing their data offerings."
The advent of social media platforms, coupled with growing computer-literate societies, has boosted demand for broadband connections across the region. As a result, the number of broadband users in these countries has swelled.
"The increase in broadband users has been primarily because mobile operators have deployed advanced technology networks," remarks Miemoukanda. "As consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of social media platforms, this driver is expected to remain high throughout the forecast period in all four countries."
With decreased bandwidth costs in the region, the uptake of broadband services is expected to increase significantly. More and more households, and small and medium companies, are expected to sign up for broadband services. As voice revenues have been declining, mobile operators are expected to shift focus on broadband services to maintain profit margins.
"Mobile operators are expected to improve the quality of services through continuous infrastructure investment, such as network capacity upgrade and deployments of new technologies; develop innovative solutions such as cyber cafés for broadband services targeting the mass market and focus on enterprise solutions" concludes Miemoukanda. "These strategies will help mobile operators sustain their profit margins."
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Vodafone sweeps awards in two separate eventsVodafone Ghana is cementing its reputation for social media excellence, with a series of awards. Read More
Winners emerge in Samsung’s “Inspire Bigger Dreams” campaignThe Samsung Electronics “Inspire Bigger Dreams” competition has produced three winners. The campaign was aimed at encouraging Nigerians to keep their dreams alive, dream bigger and aspire to greater heights. Read More
Simplifying and enhancing security on MTN’s information systems key to improving customer experienceIn the first hundred days in his new role, MTN South Africa’s new Chief Information Officer, Benjamin Marais, says his focus was to simplify information technology processes internally and externally, and beef up security of the systems in order to enhance customer experience. Read More
Uganda blocks social media ahead of Museveni swearing inThe Ugandan government locked down access to all social media platforms, citing security reasons, as President Museveni took the oath of office for his fifth term this week. Read More
Glo unveils Talk SpecialNational telecoms operator Globacom has launched a new product called Talk Special in a move it said would enhance the communication experience of subscribers on its platform. Read More
LTE enables the mobile workforceMTN Business says LTE will play a central role in alleviating enterprises' mobile pain-points and facilitating the move to a mobile first strategy. Read More
Zuri Brand seeks share of Kenya’s smartphone marketRecently launched digital lifestyle devices brand Zuri has stepped up efforts to capture a share of the Kenyan smartphone market with the launch of four smartphone models. Read More
BTCL selects Amdocs for business support systems modernisationAmdocs has announced that Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), a provider of fixed, mobile and broadband services to approximately 800,000 customers, has awarded Amdocs a five-year managed services contract for business support systems (BSS) modernisation. Read More
Airtel warns on recruitment scamAirtel Ghana has issued a statement warning the public about a scam claiming the company is offering part-time jobs. Read More
MTN and Ericsson lead the way with first LTE-U networkTo future proof its business, MTN SA, together with Ericsson, has successfully trialled LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) at MTN’s flagship channel store in Morningside, Johannesburg. 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.