Mobile data revenue in Africa to double to $22 bn by 2019

Mobile Africa
Mobile data revenue in Africa is expected to double by 2019 to $22 billion from about $11 billion 2014, according to a recent report on the telecom industry.

Mobile voice revenue in Africa is expected to increase to $55 billion in 2019 from about $50 billion in 2014.

Growth in voice revenue and traffic in Africa will be supported by poor fixed-line networks and the focus among telecom operators, regulators and governments on investing in mobile infrastructure to achieve national goals for broadband connectivity and reach.

African telecom network operators are making a shift in their investments to 4G from 3G, a report in ReportLinker.

Mobile internet traffic in Africa will increase 20-fold by the end of the decade.

Increased international connectivity is one of the growth drivers. Consortia of telecom network operators are developing submarine and terrestrial cables to provide the backbone infrastructure to boost data networks. Growth in international internet capacity to Africa was about 40 percent in the year to mid-2015.

Major projects include cables connecting southern Africa to Brazil and onto the US. In August 2015 the West Africa Cable System was upgraded, delivering 5.12Tb/s capacity for connected countries along the route from South Africa to the UK.

Almost half of all smartphones shipped to Africa in 2015 retail for less than $100, while domestically manufactured units are expected to sell for considerably less into 2016. This will help spread the use of smartphones to a larger consumer base.

About three-quarters of all mobile connections in Africa will be on 3G or LTE By 2020. Demand for LTE started picking up. Telecom operators will use spectrum released from the switch to digital TV to expand the reach of LTE networks beyond the major cities.