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Wireless Network Data Traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa: Trends and Forecasts 2016-2021

  • ID: 4109831
  • Report
  • Region: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 33 pages
  • Analysys Mason Group
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Sub-Saharan Africa: The Rate of Data Traffic Growth Is Being Driven By an Increase in Usage per Data Subscriber

"Cellular data traffic in Sub-Saharan Africa will be over 9 times higher in 2021 than in 2016 – this growth will be key to mobile operators' future prospects."

Mobile network operators in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) hope that cellular data traffic growth will drive increases in their revenue.  This report analyses traffic growth over the period until 2021 and the constraints on this growth.

This report provides:

  • 5-year forecasts of wireless data traffic for SSA as a whole, and for selected countries
  • worldwide context and specific country commentary for four key countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa
  • analysis of the key trends in, and drivers and inhibitors of, data traffic
  • a discussion of the enablers of future capacity on wireless networks and the cost of supplying that capacity
  • analysis of the trends in private and public usage, and their effect on the use of mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity.
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Executive summary
Worldwide trends
Worldwide: The rate of growth for cellular data traffic will slow considerably during the forecast period
Worldwide: Rapid 4G adoption in India and China is driving cellular data traffic growth
Worldwide: Even in 2021 there will still be some correlation between income levels and monthly handset usage
Worldwide: Dongle and router traffic is not set to account for a large proportion of traffic across most emerging markets
Worldwide: Public Wi-Fi traffic's share of total out-of-home traffic is declining in developed markets
Worldwide: There continues to be little correlation between cellular data traffic growth and operator revenue
Worldwide: Removing unlimited throttled speed prepaid data quotas can significantly reduce traffic, but its commercial impact has been mixed
Worldwide: Offering unlimited throttled speed video traffic need not increase video traffic and could be a significant differentiator
Regional trends
Sub-Saharan Africa: The rate of data traffic growth is being driven by an increase in usage per data subscriber
Sub-Saharan Africa: Data traffic and revenue growth is constrained by device affordability issues
Country-level trends
Ghana: Revenue per gigabyte is lower than elsewhere in the region
Kenya: The number of subscribers using mobile data has only increased slightly
Nigeria: Data price cuts have boosted traffic growth
South Africa: Data usage is much higher than in other SSA markets
Forecast methodology and assumptions
Definition of geographical regions [1]
Definition of geographical regions [2]
Forecast methodology and assumptions
About the author

List of figures

Figure 1: Cellular data traffic by market and 4G device share, Sub-Saharan Africa, 2014-2021
Figure 2: Cellular data traffic by region, 2014-2021
Figure 3: Share of traffic over 2G/3G and 4G and higher devices, worldwide, emerging and developed economies, 2014-2021
Figure 4: Cellular data traffic, worldwide, developed economies and emerging economies, 2014-2021, Analysys Mason 2015 and 2016 forecasts
Figure 5: Monthly data traffic per handset against GDP per capita, 2021, selected countries worldwide
Figure 6: Dongle and router share of total cellular data traffic, selected countries, 2016 and 2021
Figure 7: South Korea's public Wi-Fi traffic carried through operators' networks, year-on-year growth, 1Q 2014-3Q 2016
Figure 8: Year-on-year mobile data traffic growth, overall retail revenue growth and data revenue growth, worldwide, 2014-2016
Figure 9: Year-on-year mobile data revenue and cellular data traffic by developed market region, 2015 and 2016
Figure 10: Telefonica Brasil data traffic and net mobile service revenue year-on-year growth, 1Q 2014-4Q 2015
Figure 11: Ratio of data consumption by video resolution format (144p = 1)
Figure 12: Annual rate of growth, cellular data traffic, selected SSA markets, 2014-2017
Figure 13: Cellular data traffic per head of population per month, selected SSA markets, 2015 and 2016
Figure 14: Cellular data traffic by market and 4G device share, SSA, 2014-2021
Figure 15: Cellular data traffic by device type, Ghana, 2016-2021
Figure 16: Cellular data traffic by device type, Kenya, 2016-2021
Figure 17: Cellular data traffic by device type, Nigeria, 2016-2021
Figure 18: Cellular data traffic by device type, South Africa, 2016-2021
Figure 19a: Regional breakdown used in this report
Figure 19b: Regional breakdown used in this report

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  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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