Africa to have 167 million mobile subscribers by 2025

Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the fastest growing region in terms of mobile subscription, with an additional 167 million subscribers over the period to 2025.

This is contained in a report titled: “The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2019,” released by GSMA – a global body representing the interests of mobile operators.

The report also stated that 3G will overtake 2G to become the leading mobile technology in the region, with just over 45% of total connections by the end of the year.

Available data shows that 3G adoption has doubled over the last two years as a result of network coverage expansion and cheaper devices.

“We also see mobile-enabled platforms increasingly disrupting traditional value chains in different verticals across the region,” the report said.

“These platforms – mostly developed by a rapidly expanding local tech start-up ecosystem – aim to eliminate inefficiencies in conventional business models, as well as extend the reach of services and provide greater choice to customers.”

By the end of 2018, there were 456 million unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa – an increase of 20 million over the previous year and representing a subscriber penetration rate of 44%.

Around 239 million people, equivalent to 23% of the population, also use the mobile internet on a regular basis.

Sub-Saharan Africa will remain the fastest growing region, with a CAGR of 4.6% and an additional 167 million subscribers over the period to 2025. This will take the total subscriber base to just over 600 million, representing around half the population.

Nigeria and Ethiopia will record the fastest growth rates between now and 2025, at 19% and 11% respectively. Across the region, the demographic bulge will result in large numbers of young consumers becoming adults and owning a mobile phone for the first time.

This segment of the population will account for the majority of new mobile subscribers and, as ‘digital natives’, will significantly influence mobile usage patterns in the future.