Data analytics and consulting company, GlobalData has in a recent report revealed that telcos in Africa and the Middle East (AME) are planning to welcome 7.58 million subscribers to their user base in 2021 as a result of the infusion and enrolment of the fifth generation of mobile network, more known as 5G.
In the Global Data study, it was determined that the expansion in 5G subscription rates will be synchronized with telecom operators, with the telecommunication industry seeking to implement the required measures to expand 5G networks, with notable efforts being shown with launches spreading across the AME region, with countries such as Iran and Kenya.
In the report, 5G subscribers in the AME region will reach 10.4 million subscribers by the end of 2021, with a large majority of users settling in the Gulf region, Israel, and South Africa, with Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE having the top three ranks in terms of percentages of 5G mobile subscribers in 2021.
It should be noted that the data figure is exclusively restricted to the market covered by GlobalData.
In a statement by Telecoms Market Data & Intelligence Analyst at GlobalData, Madison Galati:
“5G activity in AME is predominantly centred around the Gulf Cooperation Council (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”.
“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 post-paid 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. Outside of the GCC countries, operators such as Turk Telekom are conducting 5G trials, and governments are outlining 5G rollout plans,” Galati added.
It is expected that the Middle East 5G use will expand on a national network level but there is a probable case of lesser IoT exposure as some countries in the region do not have the privilege of experiencing the enrolment of the 5g network soon.
With the exception of UAE and Israel, countries in the Middle East suffering from political and economic conflicts, like as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen will probably continue with the adoption of the lesser 3G and 4G networks as they struggle to secure and maintain investments to elevate their mobile network’s capacity.
“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. 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”, the report added.