Sub-Saharan Africa to lead subs growth through 2020 - Mobile World Live

Sub-Saharan Africa to lead subs growth through 2020

11 JUL 2017

More than half a billion people across Sub-Saharan Africa will have subscriptions to a mobile service by the end of the decade, as it becomes the fastest growing region in the world over the period.

According to a new report from GSMA Intelligence, titled The Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2017, the number of unique subscribers will grow from 420 million (43 per cent of the population) at the end of 2016 to 535 million (50 per cent of the population) in 2020.

Subscriber growth is expected to be concentrated in large, underpenetrated markets including Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, which together will account for half of the 115 million new subscribers in the region during this period.

Growth will also focus on currently under-represented segments such as the under-16 age group and women.

Mobile technologies and services generated $110 billion of economic value in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, equivalent to 7.7 per cent of regional GDP – a figure expected to grow to $142 billion (8.6 per cent of GDP) by 2020.

The mobile ecosystem also directly and indirectly supported around 3.5 million jobs in the region, and made a $13 billion contribution to the public sector in the form of taxes.

Operators have invested $37 billion in their networks, mainly to deploy new 3G and 4G mobile broadband infrastructure.


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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