With an expected 182 million subscribers at the end of 2019, Nigeria will remain the biggest market for mobile subscription on the African continent. Being the largest economy in Africa, the country will play an important role in defining future mobile trends.
According to a report by Pyramid Research, the Nigerian telecommunications market is expected to generate US$10.9 billion in 2019, up from a total of US$9.2 billion in 2013. Although growth in the market will be slightly reduced in 2015, as the market recovers from the large number of fixed-line disconnections, long-term growth of the telecommunications sector will not to be affected. The telecoms market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2% over the next five years, with mobile data increasing at 16% up until 2019.
Political instability and low oil prices have led to a depreciation of the Naira against the US Dollar, but the telecommunications market will remain an integral part of the country’s efforts to diversify its sources of growth. Although currency devaluations are likely to result in slower US Dollar growth rates, in local currency terms, the Nigerian telecommunications market offers strong growth rates of around 6.8% per year for the period between 2014 and 2019.
Other countries in Africa are likely to follow Nigeria when it comes to mobile technology developments. The increasing demand for mobile data will offer service providers, as well as new entrants to the market, ample opportunity to test and grow their service offerings in Nigeria.