Feature Article

November 28, 2012

Sub-Saharan Africa Sees Forty-Four Percent Mobile Growth Since 2000

The Sub-Saharan market is still not fully developed, yet it has witnessed an almost 50 percent growth rate for more than a decade. The unstable nature of Africa is the biggest reason many companies have apprehensions about making full commitments, but even the most unstable states need wireless communications to meet the growing mobile consumers. The announcement of Ceragon to expand its presence in Africa seems like an obvious choice, but not everyone is making the same investment in the continent. 

A recent study by Deloitte, which was reported by GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association, originally Groupe Spécial Mobile), revealed that Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world. Not only are services on the rise, but the industry could add 14.9 million new jobs to the workforce between 2015 and 2020.

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 “Mobile has already revolutionized African society and yet demand still continues to grow. To create an environment that supports and encourages this immense growth, it is imperative that governments work in partnership with mobile operators to enable the industry to thrive throughout the region, ultimately providing affordable options to connect its citizens.” said Tom Phillips, chief government and regulatory affairs officer, GSMA

The lack of land infrastructures means wireless is the preferred method for voice and data communications. For this reason, the region has the highest level of mobile Internet users in the world. In some countries in Africa, mobile Web traffic accounts for close to 60 percent of Web traffic, compared to the global average of just 10 percent. The report further revealed mobile connections have increased to 475 million, while fixed line connection was a lackluster 12.3 million in comparison. Companies that provide the infrastructure for wireless networks will be poised to capture a large and growing market that will see more double digit increases in the foreseeable future.

"Africa is a key region for us and will continue to represent one of our primary growth engines. The mobile market in Africa continues to expand, despite lengthening sales cycles due to macro-economic factors. Ceragon is well positioned to continue to play a significant role in network deployments in this region as existing and new customers favor comprehensive solutions providing cost-effective high-capacity and feature rich solutions with turnkey capabilities." said Ira Palti, CEO and president of Ceragon Networks.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the benefit of adopting this technology without the difficulties associated when the technology was new. Countries in this region are directly going to 3G and higher with the capability of providing e-commerce, digital content and financial services. Currently, it is estimated that the technology is contributing $32 billion to the region’s economy with more than 3.5 million jobs credited to the mobile industry.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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