Africa heading for the 65 billion mark

According to experts at Analysys Mason, this is how much the sub-Saharan telecommunications market turnover (expressed in dollars) will be in 2018. The mobile industry leads the market, with an expected annual growth rate of 6.7%.

The total revenue

How much will the telecommunications market in sub-Saharan Africa be worth, in terms of revenue, in 2018? Analysys Mason tried to answer this question with a report that looks at the next three years, seeking to predict the development trend of mobile and fixed networks across the continent. The answer is 65 billion dollars, with an annual growth rate of 6%; the highest in the world. The continent will therefore represent 3.6% of Telco’s global annual revenue (in 2013 it was 2.9%). A number of factors will contribute to this “boom”, including the strengthening and expansion of the 3G network, which will also reach areas of the continent that are currently not served, and the increasing diffusion of low cost smartphones, accessible even to the poorest members of the population.

The mobile’s contribution

The greatest contribution to Telco’s revenue growth will be made by the mobile industry, which in 2018 will make 89.4% of those 65 billion dollars, with an annual growth trend of 6.7% (fixed network services, however, will only count for 1%). More specifically, data traffic will be the true driving force: 19.6% per year, compared with the modest 4.7% of voice traffic. However, according to the calculations of experts, the diffusion of fast internet connections will not be so successful. For 2018, the Analysys Mason report predicts a penetration rate of 26% for 3G and just 4.7% for 4G.

An attractive market

The enormous growth potential that the study has demonstrated is extremely attractive for all telecommunications operators. The African market really can prove to be a profitable one, given that there is a lot of room for growth. However there are challenges to face, especially from a regulatory and infrastructure viewpoint. In fact, to unleash its development capacity, Africa needs investments that will help overcome current digital barriers and create a truly inclusive connectivity.