Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) has projected additional 100 million subscribers in Africa between now and 2025 with the most populous country on the continent anticipated to drive the growth.
Nigeria is looked upon to help the continent achieve 613 million connections by 2025 and the country’s growth trajectory is expected to be sustained in the next three years despite its current level of mobile penetration.
GSMA projects the second highest growth rate in Ethiopia with a population of 120 million, the second biggest in Africa.
“By the end of 2021, 515 million people subscribed to mobile services in Sub-Saharan Africa, representing 46% of the population – an increase of almost 20 million on 2020,” GSMA said in its projections for 2025.
“There will be nearly 100 million new subscribers by 2025, taking the total number of subscribers to 613 million (50% of the region’s population).
“The two most populated countries – Nigeria and Ethiopia – will account for almost a third of new subscribers in the period to 2025.”
Nigeria is expected to add 18 million new subscribers in the next three years, followed by Ethiopia with 12 million.
Africa’s demography a plus
GSMA said Africa’s demography, with a sizeable proportion under 18, means subscriber growth will remain strong for the foreseeable future as young consumers move into adulthood and are able to subscribe to mobile services, per Nairametrics.
“Young subscribers are more likely to be tech-savvy and keen on adopting mobile internet services, particularly more advanced 4G and, where available, 5G services.
“This is one trend to watch, given the implications for high-speed connectivity and the creation and distribution of digital services in the region.”
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) data shows active mobile subscriptions reached 214.3 million last October.
Mobile subscription database grew by 19.2 million in 2022 above 195 million in 2021.