Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

News Feed Item

GSMA Report Reveals Mobile Is Catalyst For Explosive Growth In Sub-Saharan Africa

Region Leads World in Mobile Growth, Mobile Internet and Mobile Money Transfer, But Further Growth Is Held Back by Inadequate Spectrum Allocation and High Taxation

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The GSMA today revealed that sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world, with a prodigious average annual growth rate of 44 per cent since 2000(1). Mobile connections have leapt to 475 million, compared to just 12.3 million fixed line connections, representing the highest proportion of mobile versus fixed line connections in the world. With necessary spectrum allocations and transparent regulation, the mobile industry could fuel the growth of 14.9 million new jobs in sub-Saharan Africa between 2015 and 2020. Based on research from Deloitte, the GSMA sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Observatory(2) provides a comprehensive evaluation of the region's mobile industry and its socio-economic impact.

"Mobile has already revolutionised African society and yet demand still continues to grow by almost 50 per cent a year," said Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, GSMA. "To create an environment that supports and encourages this immense growth, it is imperative that governments work in partnership with mobile operators to enable the industry to thrive throughout the region, ultimately providing affordable options to connect its citizens."

The region has some of the highest levels of mobile internet usage globally. In Zimbabwe and Nigeria, mobile accounts for over half of all web traffic at 58.1 per cent and 57.9 per cent respectively, compared to a 10 per cent global average. 3G penetration levels are forecast to grow by 46 per cent through 2016 as the use of mobile-specific services develops.

Economic Impact of Mobile

The rapid pace of mobile adoption has delivered huge economic benefits for the region, directly contributing US$ 32 billion to the sub-Saharan African economy, or 4.4 per cent of GDP. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs are attributed to the mobile industry, which has also spurred a wave of technology and content innovation. More than 50 'innovation hubs', which develop local skills and content in the field of ICT services, have been created, including the Hive Colab in Uganda, the iHub in Kenya, and Limbe Labs in Cameroon. Safaricom's M-PESA mobile money transfer service in Kenya has achieved greater scale than any other service in the world. Today, there are more than 80 mobile money operations for the unbanked across Africa compared to 36 in Asia, the second most popular region for these services.

Spectrum 'Crunch' Threatens Region

Despite investments of US$ 16.5 billion over the past five years (US$ 2.8 billion in 2011 alone) across the five key markets in the region(4), mainly directed towards the expansion of network capacity, sub-Saharan Africa faces a looming 'capacity and coverage crunch' in terms of available mobile spectrum.   

The current amount of spectrum allocated to mobile services in sub-Saharan Africa is amongst the lowest worldwide. Some countries apportion as little as 80MHz, compared to developed markets where allocation for mobile exceeds 500MHz. With mobile Internet traffic forecast to grow 25-fold over the next four years, there will be a considerable increase in network congestion unless governments across the region take urgent steps to release new spectrum in line with the recommendations of the ITU's World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC). This includes capacity in the Digital Dividend (700-800 MHz) band and the 2.6 GHz band, and also liberalising existing licence agreements to allow the deployment of high-speed UMTS and LTE networks in the 900 and 1800MHz bands. 

The combined aggregated effect of the spectrum release of the Digital Dividend, 2.6GHz and the refarming of 1800MHz would have a positive impact on job creation: an additional 14.9 million jobs could be created between 2015 and 2020 in the key six markets in the region(3). Mobile industry growth could also generate a GDP increase of US$ 40 billion, representing 0.54 per cent of total GDP, in the region by 2016. Meanwhile, failure to harmonise spectrum allocations in the region could add up to US$ 9.30 in handset costs for African consumers.

Chris Williams, Deloitte telecommunications partner, comments: "In many sub-Saharan African countries, mobile broadband is the only possible route to deliver the Internet to consumers. However, to maximise the potential gains, governments need to continue to support the development of mobile broadband, notably through the provision of appropriate spectrum. The current spectrum allocations across the region lag behind those of developed countries and, unless increased, seem likely to raise costs of provision, challenge investment decisions and increase network congestion."

Taxation and Regulation Could Stifle Further Growth

High levels of government taxation and new regulation also threaten to limit the growth of mobile services across the region. Africa has the highest taxation, as a proportion of the cost of mobile ownership, amongst any developing regions worldwide, with taxes on handset and mobile devices much higher than elsewhere. There is also a worrying trend of new taxes being introduced on essential mobile services; for instance, the Kenyan government recently announced a new 10 per cent tax on money transfer services, threatening the economic viability of the service in the future.

Meanwhile, approvals for tower and fibre deployment have been identified as the single biggest obstacle to investment by the mobile community in sub-Saharan Africa. As capacity increases and such deployments are urgently required to cope with substantial traffic growth, complex and uncoordinated national and local regulations and approval processes, especially with regards to rights of way, could be simplified to aid this process.

Phillips continued: "Tackling stifling regulation, addressing high taxation and implementing a harmonised approach to future spectrum allocation will further boost the success story of mobile across the continent. There is not only the potential to lift millions out of poverty, but also the opportunity to ensure that Africa benefits from global economies of scale in terms of both network technology and mobile devices."

To view the full report, please follow this link: www.gsma.com/MO

Notes to Editors

(1) Source: Wireless Intelligence 2012: Growth is measured as Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for 2000-2012.  This compares to an average of 34 per cent for developing regions and 10 per cent for developed regions as a whole.  Country classifications are based on the World Bank group definitions.  

(2) This is the second African edition in the GSMA Mobile Observatory series, prepared by Deloitte for the GSMA, and the first with a focus on the sub-Saharan Africa region.  This Observatory provides the latest statistics and market developments, and a reference point for participants in the mobile industry, policy makers and other interested stakeholders. It covers the state of the industry, including the evolution of competition, innovation in new products, services and technologies and the industry's contribution to social and economic development across the region.

(3) Mobile sector's contribution to employment and GDP across key sub-Saharan Africa countries with release of additional spectrum (2015–2020)


Ghana

Kenya

Nigeria

Senegal

South Africa

Tanzania

Additional jobs (million)

1.4

1.9

9.4

0.4

1.5

0.3

Additional GDP (US$ m)

1,457

1,489

12,654

476

15,929

1,638

(4) Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana

About the GSMA

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com 

 

SOURCE GSMA

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...