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African energy sector companies are driving growth in M2M traffic across the continent. Cellular M2M connections will represent 3.4% of Africa’s 1.3 billion mobile connections by 2020, so service providers must pick their target sectors with care.


  • M2M/IoT connections growth continues to gather pace. Across Africa, the number of cellular-based M2M connections increased by 22% to 19.8 million in the two years to 2015, and will more than double to reach 45.2 million by 2020.
  • Utilities and transport are the biggest vertical sector opportunities in terms of connections. The utilities sector will reach 15.9 million connections as services such as prepaid electricity and smart metering offer an effective method of rolling out infrastructure while mitigating risk. Transport will use 8.3 million connections by 2020.
  • But the retail sector is potentially the best opportunity for profit. Retail M2M revenue growth is being driven by consumers and merchants reliant on mobile for payments. The profit margin potential is twice that of the transport and utilities segments, 20% greater than finance and insurance profit margins, and 20% greater margins than manufacturing.

Features and Benefits

  • Analyzes the M2M/IoT markets of Africa, examining connections revenues and vertical market opportunities for network operators and system integrators
  • Examines the vertical market characteristics across Africa and their potential for M2M/IoT

Key questions answered

  • What is the size of the African M2M/IoT market?
  • What vertical markets present the greatest opportunity in terms of connections revenues and profit margins across Africa?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations for network operators
  • Recommendations for system integrators
  • Recommendations for enterprises

Market status

  • M2M gains growth momentum in Africa

Market dynamics

  • Players and their positioning

Vertical sector analysis

  • Industry deployments in M2M/IoT across Africa

Market outlook

  • Africa M2M/IoT market remains attractive


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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