Oct 16, 2012
Africa telecoms enter high-growth phase - PwCBack
Education|PricewaterhouseCoopers|Africa|USD|Advisory Services|Communications Market|Finance Industry|Mass-market Mobile Networks|Telecommunications|Telecommunications Capital|Elmo Hildebrand|Johan Van Huyssteen|Southern Africa
© Reuse this
In the inaugural ‘Communications review, telecoms in Africa: innovating and Inspiring’, PwC communications leader for Southern Africa Johan van Huyssteen said the continent, which surpassed the fixed-line development phase in favour of mass-market mobile networks and services, remained an untapped market, despite a mobile subscription base of more than 500-million.
“With billions of dollars of international investment flowing in and subscriber numbers rising across the continent, Africa’s communications market is at the inflection point where high potential starts to turn into high growth,” he said, noting that a 10% increase in mobile penetration equated to a 0.6% rise in a country's economic growth rate.
The mobile sector, which would account for 68.9%, or $100.1-billion, of Africa’s expected cumulative $145-billion telecommunications capital spend by 2015, would drive the growth, said Van Huyssteen.
Fixed-line penetration on the continent remained below 10%, with no indications of growth, while the mobile market continued to experience a rapid uptake of subscriptions, rising from 16-million in 2000, to 500-million in 2012.
The continent was also a “global testing lab” with the emergence of innovative digital- and mobile-enabled applications for the finance industry, citing the success of mobile money payment in Africa, as well as the commerce, health and education sectors.
However, PwC associate director for advisory services Elmo Hildebrand warned that mobile operators should assess and improve their current network performance before implementing and upgrading networks for newer technologies.
He noted that the aggressive build of a 2G network, for instance, could have left “stranded assets” hampering the network capacity and processes.
Further, the knowledge of the inefficiencies in a network enabled the operators to align future network developments with the existing network, as well as improve network performance and lower operational costs.
Assessment of the networks could improve performance by 20%, while reducing capital expenditure by between 5% and 30% in the first year, with similar operational expenditure reductions.
“Operators that take stock of their networks at the end of the 2G phase, and before they roll out the next technology, tend to perform better because knowing more about their existing network helps them make the necessary changes faster for a 3G roll-out,” said Hildebrand.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other ICT News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...