Sub-Saharan Africa Telecoms Market Trends and Forecasts 2019-2024 -

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Data revenue will be an increasingly important component of the overall mobile retail revenue in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Revenue growth will be driven by the higher demand for digital and internet services, greater access to smartphones, improved 3G service quality and coverage, expanding 4G coverage, better-value data offers and limited fixed broadband infrastructure.

This report and associated data annex provide:

  • A 5-year forecast of more than 180 mobile and fixed KPIs for SSA, as a whole and for 11 key countries
  • An in-depth analysis of the trends, drivers and forecast assumptions for each type of mobile and fixed service, and for key countries
  • An overview of operator strategies and country-specific topics, in order to highlight similarities and differences by means of a cross-country comparison
  • A summary of results, key implications and recommendations for mobile and fixed operators.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Executive summary and recommendations

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is a highly mobile-centric region with a strong potential for fixed broadband revenue growth
  • SSA has an emerging telecoms market that will benefit from gradually increasing political and economic stability
  • Geographical coverage: the adoption of next-generation access (NGA) fixed broadband will increase the most in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa
  • Key trends, drivers and assumptions for the mobile and fixed markets
  • Key recommendations for telecoms operators

2. Regional forecasts and cross-country comparison

  • Market context: the low-income nature of the region has led to a low telecoms services spend in all countries except South Africa
  • Key mergers, acquisitions and market entries
  • Key drivers at a glance for each Sub-Saharan Africa market
  • Market overview: mobile revenue will continue to be the dominant contributor to total telecoms revenue, but fixed broadband revenue will also grow strongly
  • Mobile: the prepaid share of mobile connections will remain above 95%; this will play a role in keeping the ARPU low
  • Mobile: mobile penetration will increase across the region as increasing network coverage is balanced by the decreasing need for multiple SIMs
  • Mobile: consumer spending on data services and the migration to 3G/4G services will ensure a slower ARPU decline in some countries and increase ARPU in others
  • Mobile: SSA will remain a developing region in terms of mobile technology take-up because 3G will become the dominant form of mobile access
  • Fixed: fixed-wireless will remain the dominant form of access because operator investment in fixed infrastructure will be confined to wealthy metropolitan areas
  • Fixed: broadband household penetration will remain low in most countries due to a lack of affordability and coverage
  • Fixed: ASPU will remain largely stable on a regional level because increased NGA penetration will be offset by the natural decline in access prices
  • Fixed: the take-up of fixed-wireless access and fibre services will lead to fixed broadband penetration growth in the region
  • Specialist business services: the majority of business services revenue in SSA will be generated in Nigeria and South Africa
  • IoT: the number of cellular M2M connections will grow significantly, but M2M will remain a niche segment
  • Pay TV: total revenue growth will be driven by the increased take-up of DTH and pay-DTT services

3. Individual country forecasts

  • Ghana: mobile handset revenue growth will slow down during the forecast period; basic phones will continue to dominate the market
  • Ghana: revenue growth in the fixed market will be driven by increased demand for fibre, but the total number of fixed connections will remain low
  • Ghana: the growing demand for data and fibre will boost revenue, but there is still potential for moderate growth in the number of mobile connections
  • Ghana: forecast changes
  • Kenya: fixed broadband service adoption will benefit from continued operator investment
  • Kenya: the continued adoption of 4G and the introduction of 5G will drive mobile traffic; fibre will consolidate its dominance in the FBB market
  • Kenya: there is potential for mobile market revenue growth thanks to increased network coverage and smartphone affordability
  • Kenya: forecast changes
  • Nigeria: the mobile market will grow (both in terms of the number of connections and revenue), despite uncertain economic conditions
  • Nigeria: increasing smartphone affordability and operators' LTE network expansions will sustain the take-up of 4G services
  • Nigeria: mobile data revenue will form a growing share of the total revenue, and the penetration of fixed broadband services will remain very low
  • Nigeria: forecast changes
  • South Africa: the relatively high disposable income of the population will support the growth in the demand for telecoms services
  • South Africa: the number of prepaid connections will grow, so the contract share of mobile connections will remain stable despite net growth
  • South Africa: the number of 4G connections will grow in the near future, but 5G will be the technology of choice for high-end consumers by 2024
  • South Africa: forecast changes
  • Tanzania: mobile service revenue will keep growing during the forecast period despite intense competition in the market
  • Tanzania: price competition in the mobile market will drive ARPU down; fixed-wireless will be the most-widespread broadband technology in 2024
  • Tanzania: there is potential for growth in the mobile market; penetration of fixed services will remain limited
  • Tanzania: forecast changes
  • Uganda: mobile service revenue growth will be modest despite the low level of mobile penetration
  • Uganda: the number of 4G connections will grow to be nearly a quarter of all mobile connections in 2024 due to the demand for fast data services
  • Uganda: there is potential for organic mobile revenue growth, but poverty and a large rural population will make it difficult to realise the potential
  • Uganda: forecast changes

4. Methodology

For more information about this report visit

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
Related Topics: Telecommunications and Networks

Laura Wood, Senior Press Manager
For E.S.T Office Hours Call 1-917-300-0470
For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call 1-800-526-8630
For GMT Office Hours Call +353-1-416-8900
Related Topics: Telecommunications and Networks