Africa to hit more than 1 billion mobile broadband connections by 2022
A new report by Ovum finds that mobile broadband connections in Africa are to exceed 1 billion by the year 2022 with W-CDMA becoming biggest mobile technology in the region
The number of mobile broadband connections are set to double over the next five years according to research by Ovum’s new Forecaster data service.
The data suggests that mobile data will become the biggest
driver of the African telecoms market, increasing from 419 million to
approximately 1.07 billion by the end of 2022.
Commenting on the findings, Matthew Reed, practice leader
for the Middle East and Africa at Ovum, said: “Data connectivity is growing
strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas
such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things. But
as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers
are under increasing pressure to make the transition from being providers of
communications services, and to become providers of digital services.”
In addition, the growth of mobile broadband in Africa will
be aided by the roll out of 3G W-CDMA and 4G LTE networks, as well as the
increasing affordability of smartphones. By 2019 Ovum predicts that W-CDMA will
become Africa’s biggest mobile technology by number of subscriptions, and there
will be 858 million W-CDMA connections on the continent by end of 2022. It’s
says that there will also be 210 million LTE subscriptions in Africa at end 2022
but says that 5G will only attract less than 1 million 5G subscriptions on the
continent by the end of 2022.
The company says that the increase in data connectivity in
Africa is accompanied by rising data revenues for operators, and is creating a
platform for new, digital services. But it is also shaking up Africa’s telecoms,
media and technology (TMT) market. According to their research, Facebook said
earlier this year that it had 170 million active users in Africa, which means
it has more customers on the continent than Africa’s biggest telecoms operator,
MTN Group, which had 165 million mobile subscriptions in Africa at end-1H17.