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North Africa Mobile Market Continues to Grow Despite Strife

BOSTON -– The social and political turmoil in the developing countries of the Middle East and North Africa is having a short-term disruptive effect on mobile communications markets, but Strategy Analytics still projects steady growth in subscriptions and revenues for the region. “Civil Unrest and Mobile Markets: The Outlook for Africa and the Middle East,” a new report from the Strategy Analytics Emerging Markets Communications Strategies (EMCS) service, forecasts mobile subscriptions continue to grow at an average rate of 3.5% per year through 2015.

Strategy Analytics research shows that the current unrest could even drive demand for communications services, particularly mobile social networking. “It is easy to exaggerate the extent to which these are ‘Facebook Revolutions,’ but the fact is that social networking will become an even more critical communications tool as the result of current events,” notes Tom Elliott, Director of EMCS.

In the short term, Strategy Analytics sees the potential for disruption to operator financing, noting that Mobinil in Egypt has deferred making a scheduled dividend payment. Additionally, the new Tunisian government has seized the assets of France Telecom’s local partner in Orange Tunisie.

“Most of the operators in the region need ongoing investment to grow their networks and roll out new services. These are not circumstances that fill investors with confidence,” says Phil Kendall, Director, Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies service.

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5 comments on “North Africa Mobile Market Continues to Grow Despite Strife

  1. Jay_Bond
    March 29, 2011

    It would seem the most significant set back the providers are going to face is going to be investment in the networks. The people are showing they are eager to get a better telecommunications network established. As turmoil continues, many people will be looking to use the mobile market place instead of sitting on a land line or at a desktop.

  2. SP
    March 31, 2011

    Mobile business is a business which will grow doent matter which part of the world it is in. Everyone wants to be connected when they are traveling and with so low cost why not

  3. Nemos
    March 31, 2011

    What I have seen from my travels to Africa is that the operators basically are one or two generations back comparing to West . For instance in Sudan there is not 3G provider only gsm that exclude the ability to connect to internet and have calls with video. But I have seen also in Kenya two big providers (safari) with satisfactory mobile network coverage areas. And something that is really impressed me, was the fact that a lot of people even the poor had mobile phone.

  4. Wale Bakare
    April 10, 2011

    Market of mobile communications in Africa is very massive insipte of political turmoil. The political uproars in some part of the region – incident that can be curtailed and gradually stability is being restored there.

    People inhabiting there have been able to communicate to other parts of the world through mobile devices – Smartphones and other gadgets especially at this time they experiencing bad political situation. Also, aside the north Africa region,  the west part of Africa is doing excellent well in mobile communications – telecommunication service providers are spreading fast to cover most cities, towns and villages. So also mobile and smartphone market sales is on the fast lane.

  5. Kunmi
    April 11, 2011

    Irrespective of unrest in some areas in N.Africa, it may be very hard for mobile business to decline. It is the current fuel for socio-ecomic development. In the next two decades, this business will continue to boom.

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