This Day (Lagos)

15 November 2012

Nigeria: 'Africa's Mobile Data Revenue Will Hit U.S.$18.5 Billion in 2016'

Mobile broadband is the biggest single revenue opportunity in Africa in the immediate and longer term, according to the results of a recent Industry Outlook survey commissioned by Informa Telecoms & Media.

The annual mobile data revenues in Africa will reach $18.5 billion by 2016, a recent Industry Outlook survey commissioned by Informa Telecoms & Media has indicated.

According to the result of the survey, mobile broadband is the biggest single revenue opportunity in Africa in the immediate and longer term, noting it would hit $18.5 billion in 2016.

The surveyed revealed that data revenue accounted for 22 per cent of the region's total mobile service revenues as compared with 12 per cent in 2011.

Informa Telecoms & Media commissioned the survey for AfricaCom 2012 and will publish the results in its "Africa Telecoms Outlook 2013: Seizing new revenue opportunities" report at the ongoing AfricaCom 2012 event in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mobile data growth will power a number of revenue opportunities. The business case for 4G technology will emerge, according to 70 per cent of the survey's respondents, as the growth of mobile data services continues to accelerate. Giving mobility to broadband services will empower enterprises and especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from more mobile working thereby generating greater business agility, the report said, adding that there are large constraints on the ideal of connecting Africa.

The message from Informa's survey explains that seven out of 10 respondents agreed that operators must use their buying power and distribution networks to make more devices available and device manufacturers need to make more affordable devices.

A central message from the survey is the need for mobile network operators (MNOs) to take notice of the changing demands and characteristics of its customers.

Principal Analyst for Emerging Market Analysis at Informa Telecoms & Media, Mr. Nick Jotischky, said "There is more depth to a mobile operator's customer base in Africa than two or three years ago and, for this reason, MNOs need to gain a greater insight into their customers' behaviour and offer them services that match their individual needs and preferences. Using this insight to design new business models that combine an MNO's traditional capabilities with Internet-style services will enable a more compelling and personalised set of services to a wider variety of customer segments".

Jotischky Chair a session at the AfricaCom, which opened on November 13, 2012, where he discussed Africa's evolving telecoms market with a number of Informa analysts and copies of the report were made available.

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