A new report has showed that Kenya is bound to produce nine million new mobile subscribers in the next five years.
At the moment, the projection going by the latest period sector review report by the Communications Authority of Kenya shows that Kenya has 51.03 million mobile subscribers. This means that in five years time, the number will jump to 60 million subscribers.
The 9 million subscribers will add to more than 167 million million fresh subscribers in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) by 2025. In total, SSA will have over 600 million unique subscriber base by 2025, representing nearly half of the continent’s population who will have subscribed.
Nigeria is one key market apart from Kenya which has a a growth prediction of more than 31 million subscribers followed by Ethiopia at 18 million news subscribers, then DRC at 15 million new subscribers and then Tanzania at 10 million news subscribers.
Nigeria and Ethiopia which are projected to have the fastest growth rate represent 19 and 11 percent respectively of the general growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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 per cent. The GSMS report also shows that around 239 million people, equivalent to 23 per cent of the population, today access the internet through their mobile phone on a regular basis in SSA.
The demographic bulge will be as a result of large numbers of young consumers becoming adults and owning a mobile phone for the first time, the GSMS report says.
Subscriber penetration within the East African Community (EAC) is projected to rise to 48 per cent from 42 per cent while the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) is anticipated to improve from 40 per cent to 46 per cent.
Even with the projected demographic bulge, Sub-Saharan Africa lags in many countries in 4G adoption. By the end of 2018, 4G accounted for seven per cent of total connections, compared to the global average of 44 per cent.
Some of the major factors holding back 4G uptake are high cost of 4G-enabled devices and delays in assigning 4G spectrum to established service providers in some markets
The new 4G spectrum assignments in several countries across Africa over the last one year have marked an increase in Network deployment and 4G connection percentage is bound to increase.