Budde Comm released their African Market Report and this report contains the Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) of all African countries and the TMI measures and ranks the maturity of a country’s telecoms industry on a scale of 1 to 100. All countries are placed into one of three categories: ‘Market Leaders’, ‘Market Challengers’ and ‘Developing Nations’, according to their Market Index score.
Who are the top dogs in Africa?
Mauritius is achieved the most outstanding TMI in Africa with a maturity score of 43. According to Budde Comm they achieved this score because their broadband sector was stimulated by the thriving tourism market in the country.
Mauritius Telecom also invested Rs5.1 billion (US$74.76m) to roll out fibre across the island, and the project which was expected to be complete in 2020 was way ahead of schedule and saw completion last year. There is also widespread DSL(telephone line based internet) infrastructure.
Ghana and Tunisia are a second and third with maturity index’s of 34 and 31 respectively.
Africa VS Asia
For context’s sake in Asia the Market Leaders are South Korea (92), Hong Kong (90) and Macau (86). The lowest market challenger in Asia, Brunei has a TMI of 47 which is higher than Africa’s Market Leader. Surprisingly, China has a TMI of 49 which seems a bit low for what we’ve come to think of China. Anyway, Thailand is the leader among Market Challengers with a rating of 51.
The Latin America and Europe reports are not yet out so we can’t really make that comparison but it’s fair to make the assumption that these are more developed than Africa. We’ll see when those come out…
African market challengers & developing nations
The market challengers are Mauritania (13), Uganda (13) and Kenya (12). The term Market challengers does not mean these countries are the next best as countries such as Botswana (30.7) and a host of other countries are actually above the market challengers and closer to the top 3.
The top 3 developing nations are Angola (7), Chad (7) and Cameroon (6). I’m not sure what Zimbabwe’s TMI is as this was not listed in the summaries. We don’t have the full report which actually costs $3K and can be purchased here.
Who has the highest internet penetration rates?
Due to the size and diversity of markets within Africa have contributed to varied market penetration rates. By early 2018 the highest mobile penetration was found in countries including Gabon (163%), Sudan (147%) and Mauritius (146%). One of the issues encouraging high penetration rate in Africa is the issue of subscribers having two SIMs -as many Zimbos would know- and Budde Comm acknowledged this:
To some degree high penetration reflects the popularity of consumers having multiple SIM cards despite efforts among most regulators to enforce measures by which operators must register SIM card users
Mobile is king in Africa
Budde Comm noted that mobile telephony is the dominant telecom service in Africa by far. Mobile telephony accounts for more than 90% of all telephone lines. Here’s what the report says about the rise of mobile:
Given the very poor condition of fixed-line infrastructure in most markets, mobile internet access as a consequence also accounts for between 95% and 99% of all internet connections
It’s an interesting report and even though this is just a glimpse of the telecommunications industry it does give us some perspective and interesting discussions are bound to result from this.