The combination of increasing smartphone penetration, the falling cost of smartphones, and upgrades to network infrastructure have created the perfect recipe for the development of Africa’s telecoms industry, with the rapidly maturing market now seeing strong competition and innovation.
Africa is home to over one billion people, and the demand and availability of cheaper handsets has driven smartphone penetration amongst a population keen to connect. In recent years, MNOs have been working to upgrade their network infrastructure, in order to manage the demand for 3G and 4G services. Mobile phone connections were estimated to reach one billion at the end of 2016, with penetration levels estimated at 81% in June last year.
This environment has created significant opportunities for operators. However, the pace of development is quick, with consumers moving away from traditional voice services and towards those provided by new OTT entrants. As such, telecoms industry players must be flexible and adapt to continue to reap the rewards this market presents.