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Sub-Saharan African Mobile End-user Trends

  • July 2014
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 71 pages

Summary

Table of Contents

Mobile Phones are Moving Beyond Communication Tools to Service Delivery Platforms

The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) mobile market presents significant opportunities for telecommunication companies, device and module vendors, application and platform providers, and access network providers operating in this space. However, it is important to understand the specific needs and challenges of this rapidly changing and growing market. This study investigates the various upcoming opportunities as SSA mobile end-user trends are changing and maturing. Mobile phones are moving beyond communication tools to become service delivery platforms. The availability of applications and the development of various value-added services (VAS) enable end users to use their mobile phones for mobile banking, music streaming, and social media, amongst other services.

Key Findings
-The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) mobile market presents significant opportunities for telecommunication companies, device and module vendors, application and platform providers, and access network providers operating in this space. Therefore, it is important to understand the specific needs and challenges of the rapidly changing and growing market.
-The telecommunications market in SSA is maturing and various opportunities are opening up as mobile phones are moving beyond communication tools to service delivery platforms. The availability of applications and the development of various value-added services (VAS) enable end users to use their mobile phones for mobile banking, music streaming, and social media, amongst other services.
-Estimates reveal that more than half of the regional population in SSA do not currently have access to a mobile phone. Therefore, there is scope for significant growth in the market and SSA is expected to be the fastest-growing region globally in terms of mobile phone use in the next years.
-The mobile penetration rate in SSA is expected to increase from % in 2012 to % in 2020.
-In contrast with South Africa, the mobile penetration rates in SSA remain low. This is largely attributed to the lack of affordability and the limited coverage outside of urban areas.
-Currently, one of the main factors inhibiting international investors is the unpredictable nature of the regulation of telecommunications in SSA.
-The mobile market in SSA is growing more sophisticated, and being a heterogeneous market, end-user needs are constantly evolving.
-A significant shift in consumer habits is taking place as many citizens are gaining their first Internet experience through a mobile device. It is expected that end users will move beyond making a call or sending an SMS on their mobile phone towards VAS.
-Mobile broadband connections are expected to increase almost fourfold from 2012 to 2016 in SSA, increasing to over million connections.
-However, the introduction of affordable smartphones and phones specifically designed for the African market is needed to further support mobile broadband growth.
-In South Africa, the subscriber base for smartphones is likely to exceed % in 2017. Meanwhile, it is expected that the penetration rate of smartphones in Nigeria and Kenya will be % and %, respectively, in 2017.
-The mobile networks in SSA are unsustainable on the current network infrastructure as a 25-fold increase in traffic is expected over the nextyears.
-Affordable broadband, 3G services, and innovative applications open up opportunities within several vertical markets, which encourage social and digital inclusion. These developments offer significant advantages to the SSA region including the development of the agricultural, entertainment, commerce, banking, health, and education services and industries.
-Access to the Internet, online payments, money transfers, and access to information, news, and entertainment from a mobile device are increasing trends.
-One of the key mobile end-user trends in SSA includes mobile financial services due to the large unbanked population and rural environments.
-Furthermore, a significant trend in SSA is the extent to which social networks are being accessed from phones. It is estimated that up % and % of all Facebook and Twitter users, respectively, access these networks from their phones in South Africa.

Key Questions This Study Will Answer
How does the SSA mobile market compare with the rest of the world?
What is driving the overall market growth in the next 7 years?
What is restraining the overall market growth in the next 7 years?
What trends are shaping the development of the mobile market in SSA?
What are the specific needs and trends of end users in SSA?
How are developments in the mobile market effecting other vertical markets in SSA?

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