October 30, 2009
Last week, Ghanaian operators exchanged words about the future of mobile number portability in the country: Vodafone first stated that it was fully supportive of MNP being introduced in Ghana but that it doesn’t see Kasapa, as the only CDMA operator, reaping any benefits. Kasapa retaliated by calling Vodafone “woefully misinformed” — forcing Vodafone to retract its statement — and adding that “the common goal (MNP) should not be sacrificed on the altar of protracted claims and counter claims.”
Looking past the back and forth, there is no question that Ghana’s mobile scene — with six mobile operators and service quality being, to put it gently, questionable — could use some stimulation. Customers have long complained about GSM operators’ insufficient network coverage, network congestion, high call drop rates and so on. In August 2009, Communication Minister Haruna Iddrisu complained that service quality needs to improve and that the National Communications Authority has taken steps to monitor it.
According to our mobile demand forecast, there were almost 11.5m subscriptions in Ghana at year-end 2008, equivalent to 49% penetration of population, most of which are GSM (see Exhibit 1). We project that mobile penetration will grow to 66% penetration of population at year-end 2009, showing an almost 40% year-on-year increase. Although a benefit to customers, introducing mobile number portability will be a challenge for operators. It forces them to work harder — not just to gain new customers but to keep the existing ones.
With MNP’s introduction, GSM operators will not only have to compete among themselves but also with Kasapa, which hasn’t yet grasped a wide audience even though CDMA networks generally have much better network quality and cheaper calls (for more details and mobile market trends, see Ghana’s mobile KPI forecast).
Exhibit 1: Mobile terminals by technology and GMS+ terminals’ proportion of total mobile terminals in use, Ghana, 2007-2012
Source: Pyramid Research, Ghana Q3 2009 mobile demand forecast
GSM remains popular, however, because GSM-capable handsets are more widely available and cheaper; also it is common for users to have several operators’ SIM cards and use them according to the call recipient’s network. However, as the Nigeria example shows (see Exhibit 2), CDMA operators that subsidize handsets and provide competitively priced tariffs can cause quite a stir (for more detail on Nigerian market, see our mobile demand forecast).
Exhibit 2: Mobile terminals by technology and GMS+ terminals’ proportion of total mobile terminals in use, Nigeria, 2007-2012
Source: Pyramid Research, Nigeria Q3 2009 mobile demand forecast
— Sylwia Boguszewska, Senior Analyst
Three Is Company, Four Is a Crowd: Mobile Players Proliferate in AME
Telecom Insider published September 2009
The average number of operators in African and the Middle Eastern markets has grown from 2.68 to 3.73 between 2005 and 2009; some markets have seen even more dramatic increases. But a turning point may be at hand. This report examines the factors we expect will drive consolidation over the coming years. We first recap the dynamics behind the multiplying licenses and operators, and then examine the success of third, fourth and fifth entrants in terms of subscription market share. The report also looks at some strategies adopted by established operators and the implications of the first case of in-country consolidation. Case studies examine Egypt, Ghana, Jordan and Tanzania in detail.
Africa & Middle East Mobile Operator KPI Forecasts
Forecasts published quarterly
Our Mobile Operator Key Performance Indicators Forecast products provide a complete picture of wireline voice and data communications in each of 25 African & Middle Eastern markets. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as subscription totals, market shares, net and gross additions, prepaid and postpaid subscriptions, business subscriptions, data ARPS, aggregate ARPS, prepaid and postpaid MOU, churn and total service revenue — all broken down for the mobile operators in the respective markets. We believe our Mobile Operator KPI Forecasts are superior because they capture granular data gathered through extensive field research and use a thorough methodology consistently applied to all markets.
Africa & the Middle East Mobile Handset Forecasts
Forecasts published January 2009
Updated on a quarterly basis, our Mobile Handset Forecast products provide a complete picture of handset sell-through in each of Israel, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as total handset sales, handset sales by network technology, new handset sales (by technology, by technology generation, by feature set), smartphone handset sales, vendor market share and handset ASP. We believe our Handset Forecasts are superior because they capture sell-through (units sold to end users) rather than unit shipments (sales from manufacturers to distributors) and rely heavily on our Mobile Demand Forecasts. Moreover, they are based on extensive field research, and a consistent methodology that is applied to all markets.
Africa & the Middle East Mobile Demand Forecast
Forecasts published quarterly
Our Mobile Demand Forecast products provide complete pictures of demand trends for 25 geographical markets in Africa & Middle East. The Excel output includes five years of historical data and five years of market projections for metrics such as GDP, mobile penetration, subscriptions (by operator, type of package, technology), ARPS and total mobile service revenue (data and voice). The Forecasts are based on extensive field research and use a consistent methodology across all markets, aiming to capture the total spending, from an end-user perspective, on mobile communication services in each market.