East African countries of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda will have a combined mobile broadband connection of 186 million by the 2022, Ovum’s new forecast data service has revealed.

According to the forecast, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will account for 112 million subscriptions at end-2022, while all nine East Africa countries will account for 186 million mobile broadband subscriptions at the end of 2022, making a mobile data key driver for the East African telecoms market in the next five years.

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 smartphone penetration due to better affordability. Furthermore, there will be a sharp rise in demand for broadband services from consumers in the region fuelled by the ongoing digital transformation.  Ovum forecasts that there will be 32 million LTE subscriptions in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by 2022, while smartphone connections will be 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 the digital services segment, including mobile financial services, digital media as well as enterprise services. However, the growth in broadband connectivity has also seen a rise in OTT services, thereby increasing chances of data revenue cannibalization for data service providers in the region”, said Danson Njue, Research Analyst, Middle East and Africa at Ovum.

Ovum is a market-leading data, research and consulting business focused on helping digital service providers and their technology partners thrive in the connected digital economy. We create business advantage for our customers by providing actionable insight to support their business planning, product development and go-to-market initiatives


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