Mobile data will be the main driver of growth in the African telecoms market, with the number of mobile broadband connections on the continent set to more than double over the coming five years, to 1.07 billion at the end of 2022, according to Ovum’s new Forecaster data service.
- The growth of mobile broadband in Africa will be facilitated by the further roll-out of 3G W-CDMA and 4G LTE networks, and the increasing affordability of smartphones.
- In 2019, W-CDMA will become Africa’s biggest mobile technology by subscriptions, and there will be 858 million W-CDMA connections on the continent by end-2022.
- There will also be 210 million LTE subscriptions in Africa at end-2022.
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, to become providers of digital services.