Sub-Saharan Africa offering bright prospects for 5G

The countries of sub-Saharan Africa will have 70 million subscribers to 5G in five years, according to Ericsson's Mobility Report…

The countries of sub-Saharan Africa will have 70 million subscribers to 5G in five years, according to Ericsson’s Mobility Report seen by APA on Thursday.The figures are modest, compared to other regions of the world, but sub-Saharan Africa is not left behind in the race towards 5G. Noticeable volumes of 5G subscriptions are expected from 2022 onwards, reaching 7 percent by 2026. Overall, 5G mobile subscriptions will exceed 580 million by the end of 2021, with about one million new mobile subscriptions daily.

These forecasts, the report points out, support expectations that 5G will become the most rapidly adopted mobile generation. Indeed, mobile broadband subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa are expected to increase to 76 percent of mobile subscriptions by 2026.

If these trends continue, 5G would surpass one billion subscriptions two years before the 4G LTE deadline. But in the meantime, the report notes, 4G is holding the line. It has polarized around 15 percent of mobile subscriptions by the end of 2020, while, overall, seven out of ten mobile subscriptions are expected to go broadband by 2026.

Furthermore, the same source estimates that by 2025, consumers will have added an average of 3.4 online services to their daily online activities. One of the reasons for this change in habit is the Covid-19. The forecast is for people to spend ten hours a week online by 2025, compared to their pre-pandemic habits.

“With 4G more prevalent and the availability of 5G growing in sub-Saharan Africa, we envision a ‘new normality’ with online activities becoming more common by 2025,” Ericsson’s vice-president and head of West Africa and Morocco, Nora Wahby, was quoted as saying.

The latest Ericsson ConsumerLab report is, according to its authors, Ericsson’s largest consumer study to date, revealing key insights into what consumers in sub-Saharan Africa think will happen beyond the pandemic to 2025. It surveyed a sample of 1,000 to 2,000 respondents aged between 15 and 79 years.

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