Ericsson is a global leader in delivering ICT solutions. In fact, 40% of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. We have customers in over 180 countries and comprehensive industry solutions ranging from Cloud services and Mobile Broadband to Network Design and Optimization. Over the past 140 years, Ericsson has been at the forefront of communications technology and has recently predicted a 16 per cent growth in mobile broadband subscription from 350 million in 2017 to 880 million by 2023 in sub-Saharan Africa.

In its latest Mobility Report, it also forecast that Long Term Evolution subscriptions would expand by 47 per cent from 30 million in 2017 to 310 million by 2023 in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Middle East and Africa, mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to grow by 15 per cent from 820 million in 2017 to 1.85 billion by 2023, while mobile broadband subscriptions will record a  13 per cent increase for the Middle East and North Africa from 460 million in 2017 to 980 million by 2023.

Ericsson added the mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa were expected to grow by six per cent, between 2017 and 2023, from 700 million mobile subscriptions in 2017 to 990 million subscriptions by 2023.

“Mobile traffic in the Middle East and Africa will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 49 per cent while mobile subscriptions for the total MEA region are expected to grow at four per cent CAGR between 2017 and 2023, from 1.59 billion in 2017 to 2.03 billion by 2023. This equates to three per cent growth in the Middle East and North Africa, from 890 million mobile subscriptions to 1.04 billion subscriptions between 2017 and 2023,” the report said.

It added, “On the other hand, mobile broadband subscriptions are forecast to grow by 15 per cent for the MEA region from 820 million in 2017 to 1.85 billion by 2023. This is broken down into a 13 per cent increase for the Middle East and North Africa from 460 million mobile broadband subscriptions in 2017 to 980 million by 2023.

“Similarly, sub-Saharan Africa mobile broadband subscriptions are forecast to grow by 16 per cent from 350 million in 2017 to 880 million by 2023. When it comes to the LTE subscriptions, the MEA region is expected to grow by 29 per cent from 190 million to 860 million by 2023.

“This means that the LTE subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa will grow by 23 per cent from 160 million in 2017 to 570 million by 2023. For the sub-Saharan Africa region, the LTE subscriptions will expand by 47 per cent from 30 million in 2017 to 310 million by 2023.”

The company said the first 5G subscriptions in the Middle East and North Africa would start by 2020, reaching around 17 million subscriptions by the end of 2023.

According to the report, due to the dwindling revenue from mobile service providers from traditional revenue sources, the Internet of Things has been employed to facilitate the digital transformation of industries, providing mobile operators in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa with opportunities to explore new revenue streams.

As such, it said cellular IoT subscriptions in the Middle East and Africa were expected to grow from 35 million to 159 million between 2017 and 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of around 30 per cent.

The Head of Ericsson, Middle East and Africa, Rafiah Ibrahim, said,

Total mobile traffic for the region is forecast to grow by around 49 per cent annually between 2017 and 2023. This rapid growth is seeing operators increasingly exploring methods of optimising their networks with more capacity and coverage. We are supporting operators across the region throughout the different phases of the network evolution, enabling best performing networks and differentiated customer experience.