Fixed broadband subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are expected to grow three-fold to 17 million in 2023, from their current levels of 6.6 million, according to a study from Ovum. This will bring increased opportunities for ISPs to fill the connectivity void and to benefit commercially by driving up data usage and growing revenues on their networks with Fixed-Wireless Access (also known as fixed-wireless broadband or WTTx).
According to the report, South Africa is the largest fixed broadband telecoms market in SSA, with growth driven by a large enterprise segment and higher levels of income in the consumer segment. While West and Central Africa are fairly well represented, Kenya and Djibouti are the only East African markets where fixed broadband penetration exceeds 2 percent of households. LTE will remain the dominant technology over the next five years and will record the fastest growth rate between 2018 and 2023 alongside FTTx.
Mauritius has the highest broadband penetration rate in the SSA region (69% in Q4 2018) because of a strong fixed-network rollout legacy, higher GDP per capita, and a strong enterprise segment (boosted by the tourism industry). After this, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe are the most advanced, benefiting from a strong fixed-line deployment legacy. Ovum’s analysis clearly shows that the level of household broadband penetration in the SSA region is closely related to GDP per capita.
The Ovum report finds that sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) legacy of poor fixed-network coverage represents a significantly large and untapped market for broadband service providers. However, strong demand for broadband connectivity in SSA is not being adequately addressed by wireline technologies such as XDSL and fibre.