This report provides 101 statistical tables showing trends and developments in the fixed-line operations of the 38 most significant African countries in terms of telecommunications. Statistics shown are up to 2008. Full details are given elsewhere in the annual reports listed at the end of the Contents section.
While being the world’s most rapidly growing market for mobile telephony, Africa is also home to some of the fastest growing fixed-line markets in the world. The continent still has some of the world’s lowest penetration rates in both market sectors.
The difficulties of rolling out fixed-line networks across its vast land mass have meant that by early-2009 mobile users constituted around 90% of all African telephone subscribers. However, as lower and lower income groups are being targeted, a price-sensitive market for lower-cost fixed or limited-mobility services is emerging.
A surge in demand for Internet access and broadband capabilities is accelerating this fixed-line renaissance in some of Africa’s more advanced markets. Despite reasonable growth of the traditional fixed-line markets in some countries, subscriber access to both voice and data services is shifting more and more to fixed-wireless solutions as a substitute for inadequate fixed-line infrastructure.
For over 50 operators across the continent, CDMA2000 has been the technology of choice to provide fixed-wireless access. It supports full mobility, and converged licensing regimes are now allowing these operators to move into the lucrative mobile sector in a growing number of countries. WiMAX technology, however, offers higher data rates and is quickly gaining ground in Africa with over 100 networks already in operation.
Several international fibre projects currently under development will deliver the necessary bandwidth to Africa, increase competition in this sector and bring down costs. Several countries have embarked on national fibre backbone rollouts to take new services beyond the capital cities. However, satellite will continue to play a significant role in reaching Africa’s extensive rural and remote areas.
Foreign investors are scrambling for positions in this very lucrative market as liberalisation continues, national telcos are being privatised and new operating licenses issued.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:
This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band. The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data. All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.