Mobile data will be the key growth driver for the East African telecoms market in the next five years to 2022, per Ovum’s new Forecaster data service. The forecast for mobile broadband (MBB) in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda is 112 million subscriptions at end-2022 (see infographic below and attached), while the forecast for MBB in all nine East Africa countries is 186 million subscriptions at end-2022.
The growth of mobile broadband will be powered by increased deployment and upgrade of 3G and 4G LTE networks, as well as a rise in smartphone penetration due to better affordability. Furthermore, there has been a sharp rise in demand for broadband services from consumers in the region fuelled by the ongoing digital transformation. Ovum forecasts that there will be 32 million LTE subscriptions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by 2022, while smartphone connections will be 108 million.
“The East African region has made great progress in broadband connectivity over the last few years, and this has unlocked great potential in digital services segment, including mobile financial services, digital media as well as enterprise services. However, the growth in broadband connectivity has also seen a rise in OTT services thereby increasing chances of data revenue cannibalization for data service providers in the region”, said Danson Njue, Research Analyst, Middle East and Africa at Ovum.
East African countries include Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Mobile broadband is defined as 1xEV-DO, HSPA, TD-SCDMA, LTE and 5G.
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