…5G to Contribute $11 Billion in 2030
As mobile connectivity continues to drive digital
transformation and socioeconomic advances in Sub-Saharan Africa, the mobile industry has added over $170 billion in economic value to the Sub-Saharan economy in 2023, about 8.1% of GDP.
This was disclosed in “The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2023” published by GSMA.
According to the report, the region has recorded over 489 million unique mobile subscribers in 2023, indicating a 43% penetration rate while 287 million mobile internet users were recorded in 2023, which also indicates a 25% penetration rate
While 3G remains the most dominant technology in the region, the adoption of 4G has accelerated, partly driven by the growing demand for faster speeds among younger consumers. Over the next five years, 4G adoption in the region will more than double to 45%.
Underscoring the impact of mobile in the region, mobile technologies and services generated over 8% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, which amounted to $170 billion of economic value added.
5G momentum is also growing, with 27 operators in 16 markets across the region having already launched commercial 5G services. Although the initial focus for 5G deployment is on urban areas and industrial locations, where there is a greater need for the technology, governments, and enterprises in the region are increasingly using technologies to tackle the biggest challenges faced by society, and 5G will play a key role in this area.
In 2030, 5G is expected to contribute $11 billion to the Sub-Saharan African economy, accounting for more than 6% of the overall economic impact of mobile.
As well as growing 5G momentum, other key trends shaping the mobile ecosystem include artificial intelligence and the opportunity for it to steer growth; improving smartphone access; a move towards circular economy principles in light of growing climate concerns; and the rise of fintech which is driving collaboration and innovation across the region.
Affordable mobile connectivity, an influx of funding, increasing smartphone ownership, and increasing supportive regulatory frameworks will boost the fintech market in Nigeria and other African countries, GSMA has disclosed.
In addition to a range of technology, socioeconomic, and financial datasets, including forecasts out to 2030, the Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2023 examines key trends across the mobile industry: the growing momentum of 5G; the rise in the use of AI tools; circularity gaining momentum; smartphone affordability; and growing fintech solutions. Additionally, it explores the mobile industry’s impact on the SDGs and the innovations to connect the unconnected.
Payments and wallets are also expected to be the fastest-growing products in the region. The growth in fintech services has ensured that mobile operators like MTN and Airtel Africa are looking beyond basic connectivity to venturing into the fintech space by enhancing mobile money services, along with an increase in collaborations with fintech companies and financial institutions, GSMA noted.