As large telecom players exhaust their opportunities in increasingly saturated, affluent countries, they seek new ways to continue growing their subscriber base.
Emerging markets present a significant potential payoff to large mobile operators.
Growth rates have varied significantly across countries between 2006 and 2016. However, emerging countries have consistently outperformed other regions with yearly average growth rates more than doubling their affluent counterparts.
While the swift development of omni-channel platforms and over-the-top services (OTT) continues, we can expect to see consistent fast growth in fixed internet subscription in emerging countries.
Current forecasts estimate that smartphone subscriptions will grow from 4.7 billion in 2015 to 5.6 billion in 2020. Over the same period, the global volume of data transmitted is predicted to expand by more than sevenfold. This rapid development will in fact be primarily driven by the growing technological needs of emerging countries.
Many emerging country models for developing telecommunications infrastructure are bypassing fixed telephony entirely. The number of fixed telephone subscriptions in Africa has only grown by 1% per year since 2006 whereas the broadband telephone subscriptions have grown at an average of almost 65% per year.
Thus, Africa has become the second largest mobile market in the world and is forecasted to continue growing rapidly.
The combined effect of new subscriptions to broadband telephone packages and consumers developing familiarity with internet-based applications and services, will drive growth in emerging countries’ telecommunications for many years. Many OTT services are already expanding their business to these countries, further spurring the demand for fixed internet subscriptions.
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Source ITU datasets