Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market, Forecast to 2021

A Growing Opportunity to Improve Network Coverage through Mobile Infrastructure Outsourcing and Sharing by Operators

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•     As one of the least connected regions in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continued growth in the number of mobile towers is expected. This growth is likely to be driven by third-party tower companies (towercos).
•     The towercos are offering a range of tower outsourcing solutions, which ranges the outright selling of towers in sale-lease-back (SLB) structures, build-to-suit, manage with license to lease (MLL), to colocation and basic managed services of the infrastructure on behalf of the operator.
•     The market for tower services in the region was worth an estimated $991.7 million in 2016, and is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.8%, to reach $1,508.4 million in 2021.
•     This market insight provides an analysis of the telecoms tower industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a special focus on some of the leading markets in the region, including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania.
•     It focuses on the current structure of tower ownership between mobile network operators (MNOs) and towercos and how this is expected to evolve over the long-term. The report also provides an overview of the current and expected base of mobile towers in the region, highlighting potential opportunities in the market and competitive structure across selected countries.
•     MNOs are becoming open to selling off or outsourcing the management of their infrastructure to third-party providers in order focus on their core operations. With MNOs still looking to increase their network coverage, towercos will need to secure prime sites in urban areas and strategic locations in rural areas that can offer a long-term Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) from value-added services.
•     Markets such as Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have a high population and relatively low mobile Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) penetration. They are expected to have the highest growth in towers deployed as MNOs look to increase their network coverage.
•     With their high base of towers, coupled with the low penetration of towerco-owned towers, South Africa and Kenya offer the greatest potential for future tower sales. However, the leading operators have not demonstrated a willingness to sell their towers in the short to medium-term.
•     There is a growing opportunity for towercos to boost tenancy ratios from leasing capacity to emerging, relatively small providers of wireless broadband services such as WiFi and Long Term Evolution (LTE).
•     Given the region’s under-developed energy infrastructure towercos have an opportunity to drive cost-savings through energy management. There is growing interest in hybrid systems to power mobile sites, using power from the grid and renewable energy solutions such as solar together with batteries for energy storage. The towercos can look to either partner with or acquire specialist energy technology providers to accelerate their capabilities in this space.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
Key Findings
Strategic Imperatives for Service Providers
2. Project Scope and Definitions
Research Scope
Research Aim and Objectives
Market Definitions
3. Tower Industry Overview
Tower Leasing Structures
Cell Tower Type
Telecoms Infrastructure Overview
Tower Market Technology and Service Trends
4. Drivers and Restraints
Market Drivers
Moving away from owning infrastructure
Exclusive network ownership is becoming less of a differentiator
Accelerate network rollout
Limited real estate in highly congested areas
Market Restraints
Concerned about losing strategic
infrastructure can be managed more efficiently in house
capital intensity of tower acquisition or construction
MNOs are unwilling
5. Forecast and Trends
Units and Revenue Forecast
Percent Tower Forecast by Ownership Type
Tower Ownership Breakdown by Country
6. Competitive Landscape
Operator Sharing Strategies
Africa Tower Competitive Landscape
Largest Tower Deals
Tower Market Evolution
Mobile Infrastructure Innovations
7. Growth Opportunities and Enterprises to Action
Growth Opportunity 1—Prime Site Acquisition
Growth Opportunity 2—Network Expansion Capabilities
Growth Opportunity 3—Wireless ISPs
Growth Opportunity 4—Energy-efficient Solutions
Growth Opportunity 5—Strategic Alliance With Operators
Strategic Imperatives for Success and Growth
8. Country Analysis
Overview of the SSA tower industry
Operators by Country
Infrastructure Access Trends
Tower Opportunity Analysis
Nigeria Tower Industry
South Africa Tower Industry
Kenya Tower Industry
Ghana Tower Industry
Tanzania Tower Industry
Mozambique Tower Industry
DRC Tower Industry
Uganda Tower Industry
Senegal Tower Industry
Ethiopia Tower Industry
9. Key Conclusions
Key Takeaways
Legal Disclaimer
10. Appendix
Abbreviations and Acronyms Used
List of Countries Included in “Others”
Mobile Infrastructure Penetration
11. The Frost & Sullivan Story


List of Figures & Charts

1. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Service Models, SSA, 2016
2. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Key Trends Shaping Infrastructure Sharing, SSA, 2016
3. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Key Market Drivers, SSA, 2017–2021
4. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Key Market Restraints, SSA, 2017–2021
5. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Key Tower Outsourcing Features, SSA, 2016
6. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Count and Ownership Breakdown Forecast, SSA, 2016 and 2021
7. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Operator Sharing Models, SSA, 2015
8. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Number of Operators by Country, Africa, 2016
9. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Infrastructure Access by SIM and Population, SSA, 2016
10. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Count and Ownership Breakdown Forecast, SSA, 2016 and 2021
11. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Infrastructure Access by SIM and Population, SSA, 2016


1. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Mobile Site Leasing Segments, SSA, 2016
2. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Wired and Wireless Last Mile Technologies, SSA, 2016
3. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Deployed Tower Forecast, SSA, 2014–2021
4. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Percent Tower Forecast by Ownership Type, SSA, 2016 and 2021
5. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Company Market Shares, Africa, 2015
6. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Major Tower Sale Deals, SSA, 2010–2016
7. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Evolution of the Tower Business Market, SSA, 2005–2020
8. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Key Mobility Market Metrics, SSA, 2016
9. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Infrastructure Opportunity Analysis, SSA, 2016
10. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Nigeria, 2016
11. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, South Africa, 2016
12. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Kenya, 2016
13. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Ghana, 2016
14. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Tanzania, 2016
15. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Mozambique, 2016
16. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, DRC, 2016
17. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Uganda, 2016
18. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Senegal, 2016
19. Mobile Telecom Infrastructure Market: Tower Penetration and Ownership Share, Ethiopia, 2016



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