Ericsson analyses the digitalisation of Sub-Saharan Africa

Ericsson has dedicated a special variant of its Mobility Report to Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the world’s most promising region’s in terms of digitalisation. An analysis of the current situation combined with a look at the development expected up to 2022. Inside there is a section dedicated to the Internet of Things and its potential as a tool to overcome the social challenges faced by the continent.

Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly mobile

Ericsson’s Mobility Report dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa opens with a focus on mobile technologies and their growth. The overall picture shows an extremely responsive region, where the spread of mobile devices grows at a steady rate. For example, should 2016 end with 720 million subscriptions, a quota in excess of 1 billion is expected for 2022. The same applies for smartphone subscriptions: 260 million in 2016, 800 million in 2022, with an average growth rate of 21%. Sub-Saharan Africa, therefore, has an appetite for connections which will increase in the years to come. Ericsson estimates that traffic for active smartphones in 2022 will reach 5 GB per month, with an annual increase of 30%. Even better is the performance of the total traffic for mobiles: 3,2 EB per month in 2022, +50% on average per year.

This positive trend is closely linked to the economic growth of the continent which, in the coming years, is expected to be above the world average.

The potential of IoT

The second part of the Report, however, is dedicated to the Internet of Things and its growth prospects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The analysts at Ericsson focus in particular on the close connection that many experts deem there to be between the spread of IoT and the socio-economic development of the continent. Those able to benefit more, for example, would be the rural areas where this technology would enable the provision of currently non-existent services.

Some countries, such as Kenya and South Africa, are at the forefront, while others are just starting to make progress. The hope is that everyone will join in this movement.