Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing mobile markets, with mobile traffic set to expand 12 times its current rates by 2025.
The latest edition of global information and communication technology giant Ericsson’s Mobility Report shows mobile traffic in sub-Saharan Africa growing from the current 0.33 Exabytes (EB) a month to 4 EB a month by 2025.
Average traffic per smartphone is expected to reach 7.1 GB over the next five years, while mobile broadband subscriptions are set to account for 72% of all mobile subscriptions in the region by 2025.
Mobile broadband subscriptions currently make up 77% of all mobile subscriptions globally.
Long-term evolution (LTE) subscriptions in the region are expected to triple, increasing from 90-million in 2019 to 270-million by the end of the forecast period.
While LTE, which accounted for 11% of subscriptions in 2019, will account for about 30% by the end of the forecast period, HSPA will remain the dominant technology with a share of around 40%, which is similar to 2019, said Ericsson Middle East and Africa president Fadi Pharaon.
“Driving factors behind the growth of mobile broadband subscriptions include a young, growing population with increasing digital skills and more affordable smartphones,” he pointed out.
During the five-year forecast period, discernible volumes of fifth-generation (5G) subscriptions are expected from 2022, reaching 3% by 2025.
Meanwhile, more than one-billion households in the world do not have a fixed-broadband connection.
“Given the current speed and capacity of cellular networks with LTE, there are opportunities for African service providers to deliver broadband services to homes and small and medium-sized enterprises economically using fixed-wireless access (FWA),” he added.
“FWA delivered over fourth-generation (4G) or 5G is a cost-efficient alternative to providing broadband in areas with limited access to fixed broadband services such as DSL, cable or fibre,” Pharaon explained.
Demand from consumers and businesses for digital services, along with government-sponsored programmes and subsidies will drive the FWA market in Africa.
“At the end of 2019, global FWA data traffic was estimated to have been around 15% of the global total. It is now projected to grow nearly eight-fold to reach 53 EB in 2025.”
FWA connections are forecast to reach nearly 160-million by end of 2025 – generating about 25% of global mobile network data traffic.