Last updated: 16 Oct 2007 Update History
Report Status: Archived
Report Pages: 110
Analyst: Stephen McNamara
This report provides 316 statistical tables showing trends and developments in the telecommunications markets of the 34 most significant African countries in terms of telecommunications. Subjects covered include:
Countries covered are: Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Subjects covered include:
While Africa presents an enormous market that has seen excellent growth rates in recent years, especially in the mobile sector, it is still a long way from matching the levels of the industrialised world in terms of telecommunications. Huge pent-up demand means that Africans on average wait around five years for a fixed telephone, in some countries more than 10 years. Around 2.5 million Africans are currently on waiting lists for a fixed telephone line, and the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) estimates that there is demand to support an additional 60 million lines in Africa. This demand is likely to be even greater in view of the increasing interest in Internet access and broadband capabilities.
While being the world’s most rapidly growing market for mobile telephony and also home to the fastest growing fixed telephony markets in the world, Africa still has some of the world’s lowest penetration rates. Foreign investors are scrambling for positions in this very lucrative market as privatisation and liberalisation are progressively being introduced. Explosive growth in the mobile sector has meant that, by early 2007, mobile users constituted almost 90% of all African telephone subscribers. Other wireless solutions are also used to serve as substitutes for inadequate fixed-line infrastructure. A surge in demand for Internet access and broadband capabilities is expected to drive these developments further in the coming years. Several international fibre projects currently under development will deliver the necessary bandwidth to Africa and bring down costs. Overall, Africa’s telecoms future looks very promising and offers great opportunities to service providers, equipment vendors and investors.
With poor fixed-line network infrastructure in most African countries, the extent of Next Generation Networks (NGN) and services on the continent is still limited. There are, however, encouraging developments. Several countries have launched broadband initiatives and are rolling out dedicated IP networks and new fibre optic links. Given the still large amounts of unsatisfied demand for basic voice services in Africa, VoIP is a primary application at this stage, and this technology is now gaining ground following steady improvements in Internet bandwidth, deregulation in several countries and the growing number of VoIP service providers entering the market. The first Triple-Play services have been launched across the continent, offering converged voice, data and broadband TV/video.
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