All over the world, telecommunication is growing and nations are taking advantage of ICT to improve their economy. There is a tremendous growth of the telecoms industry in Africa as the continent is gradually improving on infrastructure to enhance its steady growth in the region.
Tunisia and Ghana are in the midst with Mauritius as the leading African countries in telecoms maturity as seen from the new index from BuddeComm.
BuddeComm has launched the Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) to analyze fixed lines, broadband and mobile markets of a country with a range of economic indices.
The rankings which are based on a scale of 1 to 100 compare points with other countries in the region.
From the recently released report on top African rankings, Mauritius is leading Africa with a TMI of 43. Ghana comes second with a Telecoms Maturity Index of 32 while Tunisia is third with 31.
Mauritius’ high score can be attributed to the country’s growing tourism market that has impacted positively on telecoms and the broadband sector.
DSL infrastructure has been extended in the country and telecom operators have increased fiber-based services in many locations.
Mobile telecoms are arguably the popular services around Africa. Over 90% telephone lines on the continent are mobile-based. For the poor situation of fixed-line infrastructure in many markets, mobile internet access is equally dominant with over 95% of the populace using mobile internet connection.
The varied market penetration in Africa can be attributed to the scope and size of the diverse market in the African region.
In early 2018 the biggest mobile penetration was seen in countries such as Gabon with 163%, South Africa with 147%, Botswana with 159% and Mauritius with 146%.
New reports showed the intensity of high penetration depicts the popularity of telecoms service consumers having more than one SIM cards in spite of effort from most regulators to enforce measures by which service providers must register SIM card users on their network.
The Growth Of Telecoms In Tunisia
Tunisia has maintained a competitive position in telecoms growth in Africa. Tunisia represents the face of telecom’s growth by dominating in the North Africa region. It occupies a comfortable third position in the whole of the African region.
On the backdrop of the rankings in Africa, a wide range of initiatives is been put in place to facilitate development in the sector. A plan has been rolled out to move Tunisia’s telecoms forward towards achieving the laid out target for the sector.
In a bid to improve access to the services, real estate developers and operators of telecoms services will be made to see it a duty to make sure planned building constructions have included fiber optic infrastructure in such designs.
In the release of the Tunisia Broadband Strategy (TBS) in September 2012, it drew out the government plans to speed up growth in the ICT sector via a wide scope of measures including mobile broadband penetration, driving up fixed lines and improving fiber optics (FO) capacity.
Towards achieving the targeted plans, encouraging healthy competition among service providers (ISPs), increasing levels of ICT literacy, working to top broadband penetration rate in the region, ensuring low cost for services to meet the needs of the country form the notable measures considered necessary to facilitate faster growth in the nation’s telecoms sector.
With Tunisia recording a good 5.1% fixed-line broadband penetration in 2011, the National Telecommunication, INT is hoping to jack it up to a high of 60% by 2020.
ICT has played a major role in Tunisia’s economy. The industry already accounts for 5% of the country’s GDP. This encourages the government to look more closely into the sector to make it better.
The measures put in place by the government’s strategy shows their readiness to keep the sector active with more efforts given to infrastructural development.
TBS calls for compulsory cooperation on infrastructure installation, calling on authorities to improve efficiency, encouraging companies to focus more on infrastructure towards developing new services and products. With efforts toward improving fixed broadband infrastructure towards enhancing primary fiber optics capacity, the TBS aims to build a strong fiber optics backbone by integrating existing telecom networks.
A major aspect of the strategic plan on sharing of fixed infrastructure was a pledge to put an end to the Tunisie Telecom’s monopoly on fixed-line voice services. This will increase competition and which invariably will result in bringing innovation and driving the cost of telecoms services downward.
Telecoms Growth In Ghana
Ghana is notably one of the first countries in the African region to deregulate and liberalize its telecoms sector. After Ghana Telecoms was privatized in 1996, a rapid growth in the market was clearly visible.
The competition was observed in the internet and mobile sectors. Many service providers were licensed to provide quality services.
In 2009, Vodafone Group acquired Ghana Telecoms and became known as Vodafone Ghana. Vodafone was the primary fixed-line provider and as well, the third largest service provider behind MTN and the merged AirtelTigo. Ghana’s second national operator Westel was equally reprivatized in 2007 to become Airtel Ghana in 2007.
Many submarine fiber cables are entering the country and have significantly improved international bandwidth and lowered the cost of internet services.
The Roll Out a National Fiber Backbone Network adds to the development in the sector by completely bringing new life to the country’s broadband market and open doors to the convergence of technologies and services. The country’s regulatory sector are optimistic of universal access licenses to provide both mobile and fixed line services to replace the 2G license that is bound to expire in 2019.
A major development in the Ghana telecoms revolution includes Accra Digital Center, world’s most viable online company, Google’s construction of a 1,200km metro-net fiber as one of its project link programs in the regions of the country and the planned launch of Ghanasat 1 satellite in 2020.
Others are the launch of the fifth international submarine fiber optic cable, Setting up of the Ghana information Communication Technology Council set up to guide the ICT sector and the increasing growth of fixed-mobile technology.