East African Mobile Communication market to reach $9 billion in 2015

The mobile communications markets of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, earned revenues of $2.62 billion in 2008 combined and are expected to deliver $8.99 billion in 2015, following the availability of cheaper handsets and network investments in this region, says a recent study compiled by Frost & Sullivan.

“The key drivers in these markets include strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates, increasing demand for mobile money transfer services and declining handset costs”, said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jiaqi Sun.

According to the study, in 2008 Kenya enjoyed the highest number of active subscribers and revenues among the four countries. The technologies covered in the study are code division multiple access (CDMA), global system for mobile communications (GSM), general packet radio service (GPRS), high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) and wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) in each of the countries mentioned.

The analyst added that East African consumers are spending more on mobile communications nowadays due to the low fixed-line network coverage, underdeveloped banking systems, and the current limited availability of inexpensive handsets.

“The launching of undersea cables is anticipated to reduce the cost of telecommunications by 60% per over the next 7 years”, says Sun, increasing the demand for mobile Internet access in the region. Still, challenges such as high tax rates on mobile services and the lack of networks in rural areas are expected to be tackled by mobile network operators and Internet providers.

Currently, there are 37.6 million mobile subscribers in east Africa, at a penetration rate of 30.8%. The total number of subscribers is expected to reach 99.5 million in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9%, reports the study.

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, leverages over 45 years experience in disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. The company partners with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from 40 offices on six continents.

East African Mobile Communications Markets is part of the Mobile & Wireless Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Southern African Mobile Communications Market, West African Mobile Communications Market, Central African Mobile Communications Market, and Mozambican Mobile Communications Market.


  1. Eliza, believe it: http://projectdiaspora.org/2010/03/20/africa-3-0-mobile-connectivity-in-the-global-village/ (listen to the podcast)

    Don’t feel sorry for rural villagers, they are finding ways of getting access to mobile phones and mobile services. If there is enough of a value proposition to own a mobile, versus not owning one. I guarantee you they will find a way of getting one.

    Excellent facts, figures and projections guys! Love it! Africa is going to rise on the mobile ecosystem.

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