More Industry InsightsSub-Saharan Africa’s telecom market grew by 20 million new subscribers in 2018 and generated more than $ 144 billion

July 22, 2019by myles

The telecom market in sub-Saharan Africa has remained in a growth dynamic, both in terms of consumers and finance. According to data published by the World Association of Telephony Operators (GSMA), in 2018, the market experienced a subscriber increase of 4.39%. That’s 20 million new unique subscribers. This brought to 456 million the volume of telecom subscribers on the continent. That is a mobile penetration rate of 44%.

By 2025, with its annual mobile growth rate considered the highest in the world, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach a total of nearly 600 million.

Of the 456 million mobile subscribers recorded in 2018, 239 million were Internet users, pushed by 3G, which will become, by the end of 2019, the main mobile technology used in sub-Saharan Africa, with just over 45% of the total number of connections. GSMA estimates that the level of adoption of 3G has doubled in the last two years, thanks to the extension of 3G network coverage and the arrival on the market of cheaper terminals. The connection to the 4G has not evolved and even declined, representing 7% of the total number of connections. A much lower level than the global average of 44%, due to the high cost of 4G compatible devices and the delay of deployment of the technology in several markets. However, with the growing market development,

Beyond conventional telecom services, the telecom market in sub-Saharan Africa has also benefited from the dynamism of related segments such as Mobile Money. By the end of 2018, the region of Africa recorded ”  a record number of 395.7 million mobile money accounts that account for nearly half of all mobile money accounts globally,” according to GSMA. Sub-Saharan Africa is now served by more than 130 mobile financial services.

The global dynamism of the voice, data and mobile money sectors generated 8.6% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP in 2018, creating an added economic value of more than 144 billion dollars. The mobile ecosystem also accounted for nearly 3.5 million jobs (direct and indirect) and made a substantial contribution to public sector financing, with nearly $ 15.6 billion collected through taxes. By 2023, the value created by the mobile industry is expected to reach nearly $ 185 billion. That is 9.1% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP.

Source: Agence Ecofin

© Copyright Extensia Ltd