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The Future of African Mobile Profitability: Surviving the End of the Mobile Golden Age

cover of The Future of African Mobile Profitability: Surviving the End of the Mobile Golden Age

Market Study
Published: July 2015
Pages: 120
Research from: Xalam Analytics
Sector: Mobile

From: GBP 1249.00
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Report Overview

African mobile operators are gradually leaving the highly successful world of circuit-switched, voice and messaging services, for the more uncertain era of data, digital applications and Over The Top (OTT) services. Rarely has an industry been as celebrated as the African mobile industry over the past decade – and deservedly so. From its unprecedented ability to alter human interaction and communication, change the fabric of entire economic sectors, attract massive infrastructure investment, the contribution of the telecoms sector to African development over the past fifteen years has been truly transformational.

And yet, even as the industry continues to bask under such well-deserved plaudits, seldom have the fundamentals that have long underpinned its success been so much under threat and its future so unremittingly cloudy. Our research suggests that the African mobile market has entered a phase of acute turbulence, at the exit of which many players will come transformed, no longer mere telecoms operators, but full-fledged platforms for digital service innovation. Others will not make this great trek, felled as they will be by the combined effect of OTT service cannibalization, destructive competition, regulatory apathy and shortsightedness, voracious and misguided tax policies, weak supporting infrastructure, shareholder impatience, and their own inability to realize they’re in trouble and act accordingly.

This report provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the dynamics that underpin mobile profitability in Africa. Building on extensive quantitative analysis, a dozen interviews with market players and one of the region’s most extensive quantitative databases, the report proposes some answers to some of the most critical questions facing African operators, from voice/data cannibalization to the impact of Over the Top Players, the purported necessity of 4G, the impact of tower sales, the declining valuation of African mobile assets and more. Xalam Analytics research team lays out the roadmap for African mobile operator transformation from mere telcos into full-fledged digital platforms.

Sample Key Questions Examined

> What has been the evolution of mobile subscriptions and revenues?

> What will be the long term contribution of mobile data?

> Is Africa’s golden age of mobile over? Why?

> How are FX fluctuations impacting revenues?

> Are African mobile operators profitable? How is their profitability trending?

> Will data services cannibalize voice and messaging revenues?

> How are OTT players impacting operator revenues?

> What are some approaches to dealing with OTTs?

> Can African mobile operators monetize data?

> Should operators leapfrog 3G to jump into 4G?

> Is 4G merely another Trojan horse for OTT players?

> What is the outlook for voice revenues?

> Is there a future for messaging revenues?

> Where is 4G available in Africa? What impact has it had to date?

> What has been the evolution of mobile operating expenses?

> Does mobile money really make a difference to the bottom line or is it mostly hype?

> What is the outlook for African mobile CapEx?

> Do Tower Sales really Make a Difference to Operator Performance and Profitability?

> How have African mobile operator valuations trended over the past 10 years?

> How do Pan-African Players Benchmark against each other?

> How does Etisalat’s acquisition of Maroc Telecom Impact the Pan-African Order?

Product offerings:


Report delivered in PDF format

> 120 Pages

> 40 supporting Exhibits and Charts


Report in PDF format

> 120 Pages

> 40 supporting Exhibits and Charts

All quantitative source charts provided in Excel format for access to base numbers

20+-slide Executive summary in PPT format for quick consumption and re-use in presentations as needed

30 minute conference call discussion with report Lead Analyst

Claim your FREE 'African Broadband Map' when you purchase this report.

The Africa Telecom Transmission 2014 map contains the following features:

> Exploded view for clearest mapping
> Main map scale of 1:12,000,000
> Inset map of West Africa scale of 1: 5,000,000
> Inset map of Eastern and Southern Africa scale of 1: 8,500,000
> Chart: International Internet Bandwidth (Gbps), Africa 2007 - 2013
> Chart: Route-kms Terrestrial Transmission Netwok, Africa 2009 - 2014

The map contains data for 135 network operators in 55 African countries, and 46 submarine cable systems:


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