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BMI View: Telecoms markets in Africa will be impacted by multiple country risk, regulatory and industry-specific factors in 2014, some of which were initiated in the previous year. BMI expects network operators, vendors and other stakeholders to respond to these factors with market and operational strategies that will enable them to take advantage of the opportunities in key growth areas and minimise their exposure to major risks in these markets . In view of this scenario, we analyse the key growth drivers and trends that will shape the region's telecoms markets during the year.
Key Data And Trends
In general, what distinguishes the outperformers from the underperformers in Sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) telecoms market are their large populations, positive economic growth outlooks and relatively low mobile penetration rates, which combine to create good opportunities for growth in mobile, 3G and broadband subscriptions. This in turn improves prospects for telecoms network infrastructure firms and mobile and media content providers. As yet, 3G and broadband growth still play a smaller role than mobile voice subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa, but in some more mature markets the non-voice sector is beginning to rise in value and provide crucial revenue growth opportunities for telecoms operators.
BMI forecasts growth of 8.5% in Sub-Saharan Africa's mobile market in 2014. The top five fastest growing mobile markets, admittedly growing from a low base, are Eritrea, the Democratic the Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
We forecast Sub-Saharan Africa's 3G market to grow by 24.5% y-o-y in 2014.
BMI forecasts annual growth of 18.9% in Sub-Saharan Africa's broadband market in 2014 and expects Nigeria, South Africa and Angola to record the highest number of broadband net additions during the year.
Increasing taxation of the telecoms industry is beginning to impact on operators' investment strategies, as eight countri