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Sub-Saharan Africa telecoms market: trends and forecasts 2013–2018

William Hare Senior Analyst

Mobile penetration of population was below 80% in most countries in SSA in 2013, with the exception of Ghana and South Africa.


An update to this forecast is now available. The updated Excel data set is accompanied by an analysis of recent developments in the region.

The telecoms market in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is transitioning from one dominated by mobile voice into one in which data services and customer retention through offerings such as mobile money are becoming more critical. Increased 3G capacity and the introduction of low-cost smartphones will help support the take-up of data services. Investments in broadband fixed wireless access (BFWA) and fibre technology will continue to drive the adoption of fixed broadband.


This report draws on Analysys Mason’s core forecasts for SSA. It analyses the most important trends that are affecting fixed and mobile telecoms services and assesses the impact of these trends during the next 5 years.

The report provides:

  • a 5-year forecast of more than 90 mobile and fixed telecoms key performance indicators (KPIs) for the SSA region as a whole and for 7 key countries
  • an in-depth analysis of the trends, drivers and forecast assumptions for each type of mobile and fixed service
  • analysis of the various revenue streams (fixed and mobile, voice and non-voice services) and how these contribute to operators’ overall revenue
  • an overview of operator strategies and country-specific topics, with major trends, similarities and differences highlighted through cross-country comparison
  • a summary of results, key implications and recommendations for mobile and fixed operators
  • an explanation of how and why our forecasts have changed since the previous edition of this report.



Geographical coverage


Major KPIs

Region modelled

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Countries modelled individually

  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Countries not modelled individually, but modelled as part of the region as a whole

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Republic of), Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Réunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Saint Helena, Swaziland, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe




  • Handset, mobile broadband, M2M
  • Prepaid, contract
  • 2G, 3G, 4G
  • Smartphone,


  • Voice, broadband, IPTV, dial-up
  • Narrowband voice, VoBB
  • DSL, FTTH/B, cable, BFWA

Fixed and mobile voice traffic

  • Outgoing minutes, MoU



  • Service, retail
  • Prepaid, contract
  • Handset, mobile broadband, M2M
  • Handset voice, messaging, data


  • Service, retail
  • Voice, broadband, IPTV, dial-up, BNS
  • DSL, FTTH/B, cable, BFWA

Mobile ARPU

  • SIMs, handset
  • Prepaid, contract
  • Handset voice