Nigeria, 10 others to account for 70% of SSA’s telecoms revenue

SSA-TelecomsBy 2020, 11 countries, including Nigeria are expected to account for 70 per cent of sub- Saharan Africa’s (SSA) telecommunications revenue.Already, these countries, which also include Cameroun, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Cote’D’Ivoire and South Africa, accounted for 52 per cent of total population in SSA and 72 per cent of the region’s telecommunications service revenue in 2014.

Making reference to a report from Analysis Mason, Vodacom Nigeria Chief Executive Officer, Lanre Kolade, at a telecommunications forum in Lagos, said in 2014, Nigeria with a population of 181 million and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $577 billion, the telephony sector had a total revenue of $10 billion, with a share of GDP of 1.7 per cent and a total telecoms retail revenue of $8.9 billion.

Kolade, who is the first indigenous CEO of Vodacom in Nigeria, said South Africa, with a population of 53 million and $350 billion GDP growth, recorded $11 billion total service revenue with telecoms revenue accounting for $10.3 billion.

Kenya, according to Kolade was in the third position. With a population of 46 million and $61 billion GDP growth rate, Kenya’s total service revenue stood at $2.3 billion, with a share of GDP OF 3.8 per cent and total telecommunications revenue of $2.1 billion.

Out of the 11 countries observed in 2014, Rwanda ranked lowest, with a population of 12 million and GDP growth rate of $8 billion, it had in total service revenue $0.2 billion and a share of GDP of 2.6 per cent and total telecoms revenue of $0.2 billion.

The Vodacom CEO listed population growth (of under 25 years will expand mobile data service market); under-penetration (of fixed and mobile data services denotes growth opportunity) and increase in demand (for mobile Internet services will drive growth) as trends that will support telecommunications revenue growth in Nigeria in the next five years,

He posited that demand for mobile handset data services is set to grow fast, offsetting a decline in voice and messaging revenue.Accordingly, Kolade said Nigeria’s promising broadband market requires substantial fibre investment to meet broadband coverage targets.

For the sector to really drive GDP and revenue, Kolade observed that digital economy services and more-tailored offerings to business customers will help to drive revenue in the region.

For instance, he said offering creative DE services will become increasingly important for operators, as more people gain access to the Internet via mobile.

Besides, he said the development of fixed broadband infrastructure remains important despite the predominance of mobile.“Telecoms operators will remain the main investors in fibre networks to extend high-speed fixed broadband services to enterprise customers and wealthy urban and suburban neighborhoods,” he stated.

The Vodacom CEO observed that the consolidation trend will continue in the region as operators look to protect their profit margins. He stressed that the industry expects that the relatively slow growth in revenue and increasing operational costs will spur consolidation in some of the African markets.

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