World’s Fastest-Growing Mobile Region is Sub-Saharan Africa with 160 Million Projected Subscribers By 2025 – GSMA Study


Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the fastest-growing mobile region in the world, with an estimated 160 million new unique subscribers to be added across the region by 2025.

GSMA, an organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide in its recently released report ‘The Mobile Economy, Sub-Saharan Africa 2019’ disclosed that the youth population growth across the Sub-Saharan region will fuel the increase in mobile subscribers’ growth.

Nigeria and Ethiopia, according to the study, will take a concentrated amount of growing mobile subscribers due to their high-growth markets. Mr Akinwale Goodluck, Head of GSMA, expressed that the new generation is a digital native who would ignite the mobile subscription growth.

A new generation of youthful ‘digital natives’ across Sub-Saharan Africa are set to fuel customer growth and drive adoption of new mobile services that are empowering lives and transforming businesses.

 Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA.

The economic value of the mobile ecosystem in 2018 was valued at almost $150 billion. The growth rate of the Sub-Saharan region as proposed by GSMA should approximate $185 billion by 2023. With the mobile market already taking up about 8.6% of the regions GDP, Mr Goodluck defined mobile technology as the growing heart of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Figures of Mobile Connections, GSMA.

With mobile technology at the heart of Sub-Saharan Africa’s digital journey, it is essential for policymakers in the region to implement policies and best practices that ensure sustainable growth in the mobile industry, and enable the transition to next-generation mobile networks.

Akinwale Goodluck, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa, GSMA.

Currently, 23% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population have access to mobile broadband services and over $60 billion has been spent on network infrastructure and services between 2018 and 2025. 3G services are set to overtake 2G as the leading mobile network technology in the region.

• Around 239 million people, equivalent to 23 per cent of the region’s population, use the mobile internet on a regular basis.

• Smartphones accounted for 39 per cent of mobile connections in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, forecast to increase to two-thirds of connections by 2025.

• 4G will account for almost one in four connections by 2025. However, 4G uptake is being dampened in some markets by the high cost of 4G devices and delays in assigning 4G spectrum.

• The region’s mobile operators are increasing investment in their networks and are expected to spend $60 billion (capex) on network infrastructure and services between 2018 and 2025 – almost a fifth of this total being invested in new 5G networks.

Extracted from The 2019 Sub-Saharan Africa edition GSMA’s Mobile Economy report published at ‘Mobile 360 – Africa’

Over 3.5 million jobs have directly or indirectly been created by Sub-Saharan Africa’s mobile ecosystem. Last year alone about $15.6 billion was contributed to the funding of the public sector through consumer and operator taxes. The exponential growth of mobile subscribers as projected can only soar the numbers in the coming years.

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