Rising spectrum prices and latest 3G and 4G licenses slow down broadband penetration in Africa

A new report by the Global System Mobile Association, GSMA, has criticized Nigeria and other African countries for having the highest price range in the world.

3g, 4g Network Spectrum

GSMA says this shows why the continent has not made rapid progress in broadband penetration and network spread everywhere.

The report: Effective frequency spectrum pricing in Africa has shown that African countries even authorize certain spectrums that help innovative services such as 3G and 4G spectra too late, which is upsetting because they should be aware that decisions and spectrum licensing prices play a major role. Crucial to accelerating the pace of mobile adoption and providing better networks and services to consumers and businesses.

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He warned that this issue needs to be addressed in the region to take full advantage of the benefits that mobile broadband can bring.

The report, which claimed to monitor spectrum distributions in nearly 50 African countries, including Nigeria for 2010-2019, said that if African governments continued to expand coverage and maximize connectivity benefits, range available is the first step.

The main findings of the GSMA Concern Report are: "African countries account for a large proportion of the highest spectrum values ​​in the world.

When spectrum prices are adjusted by income, Africa accounts for about half of all high or very high spectrum prices worldwide.

Even with the exception of extreme prices, spectrum prices remain high. Average prices are four times higher than in the developed world and twice the world average. "

The report also found that African governments have allocated almost half the amount of the mobile spectrum compared to the global average.

This spectrum distribution gap has widened and widened over the last decade, making it difficult for operators to provide fast mobile broadband speeds.

And governments in the region have licensed 3G and 4G bandwidth, on average, about three years after other regions. "

GSMA Akinwale Goodluck, Director of African Business, said: “At the end of 2019, 477 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were enrolled in mobile services, representing 45% of the population.

In addition, the development of mobile technology has led to a one-fifth increase in per capita income over the past 20 years.

These are impressive numbers, but with almost 900 million people in Africa still separated, more needs to be done.

Range licensing decisions, and in particular pricing, play a crucial role in accelerating the adoption of mobile services and in providing better networks and services to consumers and businesses. Our new report Effective spectrum values ​​in Africa are unprecedented in terms of amplitude and depth.

"Unfortunately, the negative effects of high spectrum prices on connectivity in Africa are obvious. This is an issue that needs to be addressed in order for the region to take full advantage of the benefits that broadband mobile telephony can offer. "

He added that licensing more spectrum earlier and at affordable prices could benefit consumers, as higher spectrum quantities and lower spectrum values ​​are closely linked to higher population coverage and download and adoption rates.

He also argued that countries that had previously ceded spectrum had also achieved higher levels of coverage.

The mobile phone industry can no longer be considered a mere source of income," Goodluck said. Government interventions to maximize revenue have negative consequences for citizens in both urban and rural areas.

Instead, governments need to release more spectrum in a timely manner. This helps operators expand their network coverage and improve speeds and reliability.

The aim of our new report is to provide governments and regulators with the arguments they need to implement policies that help improve mobile capacity and extend connectivity.

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The mobile phone market in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach several significant milestones in the next five years. 500 million mobile subscribers in 2021, 1 billion mobile connections in 2024 and 50% penetration by 2025.

The key to achieving these goals, Goodluck said, is true partnerships between governments and mobile operators.

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