The mobile Telephony industry in sub-Saharan Africa invested more than $ 100 billion in 2014, according to a new study by the GSMA published during the conference ‘Mobile 360 Series – Africa’ which takes place in Cape Town from 7 to 9 October 2015.
The study entitled “The Economy of Mobile Telephony – Sub-Saharan Africa 2015″ shows that this economic contribution of $ 102 billion in 2014 corresponded to 5.7% of the region’s GDP. Mobile operators contributed directly to $ 31 billion or 1.7% of GDP. This economic contribution is expected to increase in the coming years, as mobile operators continue to extend connectivity to unconnected populations across the region and to deploy new broadband mobile networks and services. In addition, the industry is expected to contribute $ 166 billion in value to the region by 2020, or 8% of projected GDP.
“The mobile industry remains a key driver of economic growth and employment in sub-Saharan Africa, making a vital contribution given the high population growth and high unemployment seen in many countries in the region” , said Alex Sinclair, Acting Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA.
In addition, 86 million mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa are expected by the end of this year, equivalent to 41% of the region’s population. The region’s unique subscriber base grew by 13%, on average, in the first half of this decade (2010-2015), growing more than twice the rate of the world average (6% ) during this period. The region surpassed Latin America in 2014 to become the third largest mobile subscriber market in the world, behind Asia Pacific and Europe alone. The number of mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to exceed half a billion (518 million) by 2020, which represents almost one in two (49%) of the region’s population at the moment.
The total number of mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa is on track to reach 722 million by the end of the year. Mobile broadband (3G / 4G) represents nearly a quarter of connections this year, but will increase to 57% by 2020, thanks to the expansion of mobile broadband network coverage and lower costs of apparatus. 3G commercial networks were launched in 41 countries across sub-Saharan Africa from June 2015, while 4G networks were launched in 23 countries.
The study is available here