43 out of 55 African countries (78%) will offer 4G services by the end of 2018, that is according to a study conducted by data and analytics company, GlobalData .
In recent years, African countries have been rolling out 4G mobile networks across the continent at with big wits like South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana already auctioning of various spectrums to Mobile Network operators and ISPs.
In December 2015 MTN paid US$67.5 million for a 15-year 4G/LTE license in 800 MHz spectrum band, outbidding four other contenders. While in Nigeria, the Teleology takeover of 9Mobile saw the company’s’s resolve in increasing 4G network coverage. The company said it will drive a special program of rural internet coverage, focusing on 4G with broadband access planned for all of Nigeria’s 774 Local Government Areas.
In the last 24 months, even minnows such as Djibouti, The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau have launched new fast 4G services in their respective countries.
Some Countries are yet to Offer 4G
In spite of this, there are few relatively large countries lagging behin, one of them being Mozambique – a country of nearly 30 million people. However, in late July 2018, Mozambique’s telecoms regulator finally announced that a 4G auction will take place in the next 2-3 months, meaning services would most likely come online in 2019. This would make Mozambique the last major economy in Southern Africa to launch 4G services.
Countries yet to launch 4G services by the end of 2018 include Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Lesotho, Mauritania, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principe.
The provision of 4G data speeds, coupled with recent rise in smartphone usage which is being propelled by falling device prices – is sure to further spur data revenues for mobile network operators across both the urban and rural parts of Africa.