1 billion+ mobile broadband connections in Africa by 2022?

06 November 2017

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With Africa being a notable subject of the global digital divide, this predictions report from Ovum TMT intelligence explores the continent's rise in mobile data over the next four to five years.

According to Ovum TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) intelligence's Forecaster data service, mobile data will be the main driver of growth in the African telecoms market, with their number of mobile broadband connections set to more than double over the next four to five years.

Mobile data will rise, moreover, from 419 million at the end of 2017, to 1.07 billion at the end of 2022. Such growth of mobile broadband in Africa will be facilitated by the further rollout of 3G W-CDMA (Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access) and 4G Long Term Evolution networks, and the increasing affordability of smartphones.

In 2019, W-CDMA will become Africa’s biggest mobile technology by subscriptions, and there will be 858 million connections on the continent by end-2022, Ovum forecasts. There will also be 210 million LTE subscriptions in Africa at the end of 2022.

Ovum expects Africa’s first 5G services to launch in 2021, but initial take-up will be modest, with fewer than 1 million 5G subscriptions on the continent at the end of 2022.


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