Africa - Fixed Broadband Market - Statistics and Analyses

Report Cover Image

Last updated: 10 Nov 2022 Update History

Report Status: Current

Report Pages: 635

More African countries aiming to develop ICT hubs

Countries across the African region continue to develop telecoms infrastructure, both on a national and international level.

For many years, the region was deeply compromised by the legacy of underinvestment and neglect from governments and sector regulators alike. This had resulted in most countries on the continent having inadequate fixed-line services. In some markets, the situation was exacerbated by civil wars and other conflicts which either destroyed what had been built, or caused sufficient security concerns that the necessary work required to expand infrastructure in cities and across rural areas was seriously inhibited. This situation remains in some countries today, including areas of Mali, Mozambique, the DRC, and others.

Although mobile networks carry by far the vast proportion of voice and data traffic in all countries in the region, there has been much progress made in recent years to shift traffic to fixed networks. This has been rendered possible by greater investments made in terrestrial and submarine cable systems. These investments in turn have been either via the efforts of private operators, such as Liquid Intelligent Technologies, or by national governments. The latter have shown a greater interest in recent years to develop such networks as a way to promote their countries as ICT hubs, in turn attracting international investment.

A notable example of these ambitions is shown by Egypt, which in recent years has worked on a number of digital migration projects aimed at increasing average broadband speeds, delivering fibre broadband to about 60% of the population, developing an in-house satellite program, and creating a knowledge-based economy through the greater adoption of ICTs. The New Administrative Capital being built is only one of more than a dozen smart city projects, which together are stimulating investment in 5G and fibre broadband. There has also been a strong adoption of IoT and AI solutions. The ICT sector is being built up as part of a wider effort to diversify the economy, as envisioned in the country's Egypt Vision 2030 roadmap.

In many other countries, such as Malawi, governments are building national fibre backbones to extend connectivity deeper into rural areas. The first phase of Malawi's backbone project, running to 1,320km, was completed in 2018. The second phase, running to 2,800km, was started in June 2021. This second phase also included a new data centre, and focussed on providing services to public buildings and businesses.

Other important developments have occurred in Ethiopia, where Safaricom Ethiopia (a consortium led by Safaricom) launched services in October 2022, thus breaking the monopoly long-held by Ethio Telecom. This monopoly - affecting fixed, mobile, internet and data communications - had stifled innovation, restricted network expansion, and limited the scope of services on offer. Despite the practical difficulties posed by the war in the country, Safaricom Ethiopia has invested about $1.2 billion in network development and license fees, suggesting its commercial confidence in a market of more than 100 million people.

Increasing backhaul capacity is fundamental to these nations being able to improve fixed-line telecom services, as well as to support growing mobile data traffic. These projects are being effectively supported by regulatory measures and by governments which understand the key functions of broadband connectivity for economic growth. Some considerable momentum has been achieved in several countries, and this has motivated others to keep on track with their own projects, not wishing to be left behind in the emerging digital landscape.

Related Reports

Share this Report

TMT Intelligence

A platform to scale your intelligence tasks

Monitor critical insights with our AI-powered Market Intelligence Platform gathering and analyzing intelligence in real time. With AI trained to spot emerging trends and detect new strategic opportunities, our clients use TMT Intelligence to accelerate their growth.

If you want to know more about it, please see:

TMT Intelligence Platform

Research Methodology

BuddeComm's strategic business reports contain a combination of both primary and secondary research statistics, analyses written by our senior analysts supported by a network of experts, industry contacts and researchers from around the world as well as our own scenario forecasts.

For more details, please see:

Research Methodology

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to BuddeComm's weekly newsletter.