In Africa, 5G mobile networks are expected to contribute $26 billion to the economy by 2030 (report)

(Ecofin Agency) – The GSMA estimates that the number of 5G subscriptions should reach more than 340 million in Africa by the end of the current decade, and expects this pervasive technology to revolutionize all parts of the world. ‘economy.

5G mobile networks are expected to represent, across their entire value chain, an economic contribution of $26 billion in Africa by 2030, according to a report published by the World Association of Mobile Operators and Manufacturers (GSMA).

This report explains that 5G networks will bring substantial improvements over previous generations, including exceptional connection speeds, greater capacity and very low latency (the time between when information is sent and when the device receives it), and will enable new uses that will have a positive impact on many sectors of economic activity.

The GSMA expects the number of 5G subscriptions to reach over 340 million on the continent by the end of the current decade, or 20% of total mobile service subscriptions.

Together, 4G and 5G are expected to account for nearly two-thirds of total mobile phone service subscriptions in 2030 while 2G will drop to 2% and 3G to 32%.

The report titled “5G in Africa: Realizing the potential” also states that 5G will improve connectivity for homes and businesses through Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) connections, accelerate the transformation businesses and meet the needs of young African generations in terms of connectivity, since it allows access to digital services such as live video streaming, games and Metaverse applications, which require high-speed networks. performance.

5G will also help stimulate technological innovation. While Africa has a vibrant tech ecosystem supported by a network of over 600 tech hubs and start-up incubators, 5G-specific characteristics such as low latency and high device density will create new opportunities. to develop innovative solutions adapted to the local context.

The cost of compatible smartphones, the main obstacle

The report, which is based on surveys of businesses, telecom operators and consumers in Africa, further indicates that the sectors that will benefit the most from 5G subscriptions are retail, manufacturing, agriculture, services, new technologies, transport, finance and public administration.

A survey conducted by the GSMA among a representative sample of consumers in Africa, however, reveals that 37% of individuals surveyed believe that the main obstacle to the adoption of 5G mobile services in Africa will be the cost of compatible smartphones. Then come the lack of network coverage (27%), the lack of information on uses (22%) and the satisfaction of basic needs with previous generations such as 4G and 3G (14%).

Among African businesses, the main barriers to 5G adoption are lack of awareness of the benefits of such networks (29%), lack of use cases and proven applications (29%), lack of network coverage (29%) and insufficient technical skills of staff (12%).

To overcome these obstacles and ensure faster deployment of 5G networks on the continent, the GSMA recommends that governments and regulators take steps that foster an enabling environment for investment and innovation such as granting the right amount of spectrum for 5G, encouraging the use of renewable energies by operators, the use of tax measures to facilitate accessibility to 5G-compatible smartphones and the implementation of regulations likely to ensure the profitability of networks , in particular with regard to authorizations for the right of way or occupation of the public domain, the rules relating to electromagnetic fields (EMC) and the deployment of small cells.

Telecommunications operators should, for their part, raise consumer awareness of the benefits of 5G and work with other players to develop uses with high added value and adapted to local markets, while taking into account social, economic and environmental factors. specific environments.

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In Africa, 5G mobile networks are expected to contribute $26 billion to the economy by 2030 (report)

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