The Sub-Saharan African telecoms market is leading the world in growth while also transitioning, with growing revenue from mobile data services increasingly matching mobile voice growth.
A report entitled “Sub-Saharan Africa telecoms market: trends and forecasts 2013–2018”from Analysys Mason said the African telecoms market is set to be one of the main growth success stories for the telecoms sector in the next five years.
Telecoms service revenue in the SSA market will increase at a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the period, jumping from US$49 billion in 2013 to more than US$65 billion in 2018.
Increased 3G coverage and capacity, and the widespread introduction of low-cost smartphones will help support the take-up of mobile data services, as well as the increasing usage of adjacent digital economy offerings – notably, mobile financial services.
“SSA’s telecoms market is growing faster than that of any other region, and will increase its share of worldwide telecoms revenue over the next five years, although this will still remain small compared with other regions,” Analysys Mason regional analyst Mpho Moyo said.
The SSA market accounted for only 2.9 per cent of worldwide telecoms revenue in 2013, increasing to 3.6 per cent by 2018.
According to the report, mobile services, which accounted for 86.5 per cent of telecoms revenue, will continue to dominate SSA revenues and contribute an even higher 89.4 per cent in 2018. Mobile voice and handset data revenue will together deliver 90 per cent of the total telecoms revenue growth in the region in the next 5 years.
Report co-author Alexandra Rehak said: “Under-penetration of fixed and mobile data services in SSA represents a major growth opportunity for service providers and other market players, as does the growing demand for value-added digital economy offerings such as mobile financial services. However, affordability, coverage and effective regulatory and market structures remain major challenges for successful telecoms development in Africa.”
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