Mobile data will be the key growth driver for the East African telecoms market in the next five years to 2022, data research company OVUM has said in its latest forecast.
The forecast for mobile broadband in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda is 112 million subscriptions at end of 2022, while the forecast for mobile broadband in all nine East Africa countries at the end of 2022 is 186 million subscriptions.
The countries are Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The growth of mobile broadband will be powered by increased deployment and upgrade of 3G and 4G LTE networks, as well as a rise in smart phone penetration due to better affordability.
OVUM further notes the possibility a sharp rise in demand for broadband services from consumers in the region, fueled by the ongoing digital transformation.
According to the forecast, there will be 32 million LTE subscriptions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by 2022, while smart phone connections will number 108 million.
"The East African region has made great progress in broadband connectivity over the last few years, and this has unlocked great potential in digital services segment, including mobile financial services, digital media as well as enterprise services," Danson Njue, a Research Analyst at OVUM Middle East and Africa, said.
"However, the growth in broadband connectivity has also seen a rise in over-the-top services thereby increasing chances of data revenue cannibalisation for data service providers in the region."
The data firm focuses on helping digital service providers and their technology partners thrive in the connected digital economy.
They focus on creating business advantage for customers by providing actionable insight to support their business planning, product development and go-to-market initiatives.