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Telecoms Investment

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published Connecting Humanity – Assessing investment needs of connecting humanity to the Internet by 2030, a comprehensive new study that estimates the investment needed to achieve universal, affordable broadband connectivity for all by the end of this decade. The Report suggests that nearly US$ 428 billion is required to connect the remaining 3 billion people aged 10 years and above to broadband Internet by 2030.

Meanwhile, the Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2020 report predicts that there will be just under 30m mobile 5G connections in sub-Saharan Africa within 5 years, with unused 4G capacity likely to be the main area of focus among companies. By 2025, the report forecasts that 5G will account for just 3% of total mobile connections, compared to 58% for 3G, 27% for 4G and 12% for 2G. 5G will largely cater to African home and business customers in the years ahead, despite Vodacom’s and MTN’s launch of the first major 5G networks in South Africa this year and 5G trials in Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda. The mobile sector generated 9% of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa in 2019, with operator revenues amounting to $44.3bn, but COVID has had a mixed impact on the industry.

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Alastair Tempest

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