Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

4G/5G

5G subs to hit 200M in MENA by 2027 – Ericsson

Article Image
5G subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are due to reach about 200 million by 2027, growing from about 10 million in 2021. That's according to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, published this week, which shows that MENA's 5G subscriptions will grow to make up about 23% of the total mix in five years' time.

4G will remain the predominant technology over the next five years, with forecasts estimating that 53% of the market will be 4G in 2027. In 2021, 4G subscriptions increased by about 54 million, while 2G and 3G declined in MENA.

Mobile subscription growth in the region is predominantly driven by the uptake of 4G services in less mature markets, the authors explained.

MENA's data traffic is also expected to continue rising as the transition to 4G networks continues, with the average data traffic per smartphone expected to be around 45GB per month in 2027, compared to about 10GB per month in 2021.

Mobile subscriptions by region and technology (%)
Source: June 2022 Ericsson Mobility Report.
Source: June 2022 Ericsson Mobility Report.

Ericsson believes that, globally, 5G subscriptions will pass the 1 billion milestone by the end of 2022 and by 2027 top 4.4 billion, accounting for almost half of all subscriptions.

Sub-Saharan slump

Meanwhile, in sub-Saharan Africa 5G uptake was still pretty minimal in 2021, but Ericsson predicts that by 2027 the 5G market will make up at least 10% of subscriptions in the region.

However, 4G (LTE) will grow to be about 28% of the overall sub-Saharan African market in five years' time. In 2021, the number of 4G subscriptions grew by 26% in the region, and strong growth is expected to continue during 2022, Ericsson said.

"Demand for mobile voice and data services continues to grow in the region. Investment in telecom infrastructure accelerated during 2020–2021 in the wake of COVID-19, including mobile coverage and fixed wireless access (FWA) build-out, enabling service providers to address additional subscriber segments with mobile broadband," the report said in reference to sub-Saharan Africa.

3G mobile data traffic is still increasing, but the majority of traffic growth is expected to be in 4G in the next few years. Over the forecast period, total mobile broadband subscriptions are predicted to increase, reaching 78% of mobile subscriptions.

"Regulatory initiatives are being taken to make more spectrum available in key markets across Africa. This will enable access to mobile services for a larger part of the population, especially in rural areas that have traditionally been underserved."

In markets such as South Africa and Kenya, recent spectrum allocations will enable service providers to extend their coverage and capacity of 3G and 4G networks which will also lead to rising data traffic.

The average data traffic per smartphone in the region is expected to grow from 2.9GB per month in 2021 to 11GB per month by 2027.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Elements vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Story

SA's smart city finalists win big for innovation

South Africa's City of Johannesburg's Smart City Office has awarded four innovators R500,000 (US$31,434) for their innovative solutions.

Story

Hot startup of the month: Data science marketplace Zindi

This month's hot startup is social enterprise Zindi, which is a professional network for data science in Africa.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Guest Perspectives

Story

Omdia View: May 2022

By Omdia Analysts

SpaceX-owned Starlink's plans to launch a satellite broadband service in Africa was a major highlight in May 2022, says Omdia's analysts.

Story

Omdia View: April 2022

By Omdia Analysts

This month's Omdia View highlights indicate a shift to digital transformation and operational consolidation to maximize return on investments.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Flash poll

All polls

Archived webinars

Africa Green ICT: Lighting Up a Sustainable Continent

The ICT industry is the leading industry in the commitment to carbon neutrality, whose focus has shifted from setting ambitious targets to taking initiatives. The push for zero-carbon and for green energy development, it isn't just about CSR – it's also good for sustainable business.

The path to sustainable development requires green energy. Governments are looking at potential policy approaches to make green energy more widely available and affordable. Without sustainable energy, there will be no digital transformation and no chance of making Africa more economically competitive in the post-pandemic era.

Africa Green ICT Webinar 2022 will bring together ICT industry leaders and senior industrial analysts to provide insight, best practices and key learnings on how to achieve zero-carbon targets and practice green development in Africa.

More Webinars

Sponsored video

More videos

AfricaCom perspectives

Story

Digital inclusion as a catalyst for economic empowerment: Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu

Mastercard's Imelda Ngunzu talks to Connecting Africa about how digital payment solutions and mobile money are transforming the lives of small business owners, women and marginalized groups in East Africa.

Story

Accelerating women in STEM: In conversation with GirlCode's Tinyiko Simbine

GirlCode co-founder and CFO Tinyiko Simbine talks about why it's important to help girls and young women excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Story

How Poa Internet is unlocking meaningful connectivity in East Africa

Poa Internet's CEO Andy Halsall shares his views on what it takes to develop last-mile connectivity and get Africans online in a meaningful way.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up


Sign Up