5G subscribers in Africa and ME to reach 10.4 million by 2021

5G subscribers in Africa and ME to reach 10.4 million by 2021

Africa and the Middle East (AME) telecom operators to add 7.58 million 5G subscribers in 2021 due to expanding coverage of 5G networks, said a study.

According to a study by GlobalData, the growth in 5G subscription will be supported by operators investing in expanding the coverage of their 5G networks and recent 5G launches in countries like Iran and Kenya.

The total number of 5G subscribers in Africa and the Middle East (AME) will reach 10.4 million by 2021, with the majority of 5G networks being in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Israel, and South Africa, it said.
GlobalData’s Africa and Middle East Mobile Broadband forecast (Q2 2021) finds Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE to be the top three 5G markets in terms of percentages of 5G mobile subscribers in 2021 in the markets that GlobalData covers.

According to the report, telecom operators in these countries have focused on expanding the coverage of their 5G networks to boost subscriber numbers. For example, in September 2020, Ooredoo Qatar achieved more than 90% 5G population coverage and reported in Q2 2020 that 6.7% of the total mobile base was on 5G. In addition, Kuwait is set to achieve nationwide 5G coverage in 2021.

Madison Galati, Telecoms Market Data & Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, said: “5G activity in AME is predominantly centered around the GCC countries, with operators in countries like Qatar, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia have launched their 5G networks in 2019. These countries have some of the highest purchasing power parity (PPP)-Adjusted GDP per capita and unique mobile user penetration in the region, supporting the investment in launching and expanding 5G networks as well as 5G adoption.”

Galati added: “With the advancements of 5G network rollouts, telecom operators are adopting strategies to draw 5G subscribers with data-centric 5G plans and added value services. For example, in Israel, three MNOs – Partner, Pelephone, and Hot Mobile – offer 5G postpaid plans with 1,000 GB of data. In addition, in Qatar, both MNOs offer 5G plans with unlimited data with added services such as cyber security solutions and SVoD subscriptions.