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Mobile Broadband in Africa and the Middle East: LTE Profit Drivers and Outlook

  • May 2014
  • 34 pages
  • GlobalData
Report ID: 2134421

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Summary
'Mobile Broadband in Africa and the Middle East: LTE Profit Drivers and Outlook,' a Telecom Insider Report by Pyramid Research, tackles the question of how LTE is positioned in Africa and the Middle East and what its growth drivers and consequences for mobile broadband are. It reviews the existing LTE deployments and assesses uptake vis-à-vis (and along with) 3G adoption and rollouts. We analyze the current circumstances and expectations for mobile broadband in AME by using three main pillars: revenue drivers (services, devices, pricing models), cost (regulations and deployment models) and structural dynamics (socioeconomic and competitive characteristics).

Key Findings
- LTE is commercially present in about 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. In the wealthy Gulf countries almost all mobile operators use LTE as their new basis of competition for mobile subscriptions, whereas in Africa the use of LTE is mostly limited to fixed-use cases for broadband access, following WiMAX migrations.
- Mobile operators in Africa are waiting for the digital dividend, scheduled for mid-2015, and the release of frequencies in the sub-1GHz spectrum before aggressive LTE deployments. Until then, pure broadband LTE companies have a window of opportunity to expand their subscriber bases, while Internet companies, such as Microsoft and Google, will have time to lobby for the utilization of TV white spaces.
- In the Gulf markets, pricing of mobile data is often uniform across 3G and LTE networks, while in Africa, the arrival of LTE broadband brought with it a wave of segmentation in the packaging and pricing of mobile data, for instance through data sharing and time-of-day packages.
- Although network sharing or wholesale LTE networks are possibilities, unfavorable competitive dynamics in most AME markets hamper the development of such cost-effective deployment models.
- In the Gulf markets, LTE will account for 30% of mobile subscriptions by 2018, while the figure will be in the 2-5% range across African markets due to late entries by mobile operators. This is in line with African regulators who raise concerns that the mobile operators should gain more experience with 3G.

Synopsis
This Telecom Insider tackles the question of how LTE is positioned in Africa and the Middle East and what its growth drivers and consequences for mobile broadband are. It reviews the existing LTE deployments and assesses uptake vis-à-vis (and along with) 3G adoption and rollouts. We analyze the current circumstances and expectations for mobile broadband in AME by using three main pillars: revenue drivers, cost constraints and structural dynamics.
Among revenue drivers, we discuss the implications of the emergence of local content that justifies the growing use of high-speed mobile networks, such as OTT video and e-commerce applications. We also highlight the changes in how operators package and price LTE in Africa and the Middle East, as well as the landscape of devices available to mobile broadband. In the cost section, we emphasize the LTE network deployment models in use or planned by the operators, as well as the regulatory constraints and enablers surrounding the future of LTE in AME. In the structural dynamics section, we focus on the effects of socioeconomic market characteristics and how competition incentivizes or postpones LTE deployments in some markets.
Also in this report, you will find a detailed list of existing LTE deployments, projections on mobile broadband uptake over the next five years, as well as concrete conclusions and recommendations regarding the future of LTE and mobile broadband in Africa and the Middle East. The report visits multiple cases of successful and failed deployments, as well as analytical comparisons across markets that can be used for decision-making.

Reasons To Buy
- This Insider Report provides a comprehensive examination of service provider business models around LTE in Africa and the Middle East market to help executives fully understand market dynamics, determine what works and what doesn't, formulate effective product development plans and optimize resource allocation and return on investments.
- This Insider Report provides a five-year forecast of LTE uptake in Africa and the Middle East, developed using Pyramid Research's rigorous bottom-up modeling methodologies, to enable executives to effectively position their companies for growth opportunities and emerging trends in demand for their products.
- Constant references to actual events and developments in Africa and the Middle East support the findings of the report, providing insight into particular deployment models in the GCC countries as well as in sub-Saharan markets where commercial LTE has been made available. This will help the reader understand both the challenges confronted in the real world and the strategies employed to overcome those challenges.
- The report discusses concrete opportunities in the LTE and mobile broadband market in Africa and the Middle East, providing a number of actionable recommendations for operators, service providers, infrastructure companies and investors.

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