This report provides 224 statistical tables and 10 charts for the mobile voice and data communications activities up to 2010 for the major 38 African countries. Full details are given elsewhere in the annual reports listed at the end of the Table of Contents section.
Researcher: Peter Lange
Current publication date:- April 2011 (9th Edition)
Next publication date – April 2012
Mobile phones represent more than 90% of all telephone lines in Africa. Market penetration passed the 50% mark in 2010, with subscriber growth slowing to around 15% p.a. However, several individual markets are still growing at 50% p.a. or more and others stand at only single-digit penetration rates. The continent’s most advanced markets have passed the 100% penetration mark.
The introduction of prepaid services and a steady decline in tariffs has meant that more than half of Africa’s close to one billion people can now afford a mobile phone. However, as lower income groups are being targeted, the declining Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is putting pressure on the network operators' profit margins. Price wars have broken out in some markets where a large number of operators have been licensed. Despite this, international investors are still very keen to enter the market through new mobile licences or shares in existing mobile operations in Africa.
Mobile data and broadband technologies are increasingly being used as a substitute for poor or non-existent fixed-line infrastructure in Africa. In vast parts of the continent, the mobile network operators are the only providers of any kind of telecommunication service apart from satellite services. As subscriber growth peaks, many of them have established themselves as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are playing an increasing role in the broadband sector, competing directly with fixed broadband services such as DSL – a welcome new revenue stream in an environment of shrinking ARPU in the voice market.
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