• November 14th, 2012
  • Darren Kingman

Saharan sunrise showing the rise of a new economical powerA new report produced by Deloitte on behalf of GSMA has highlighted that the fastest growing telecoms market in the world, Sub Saharan Africa, is currently being held back due to high taxes and a lack of spectrum allocation.

The concerns have grown amongst those in the region, due to the amount of positive economic growth the telecoms industry could fuel. The report identifies that with transparent regulations and increased spectrum allocation, the industry could create just below 15 million jobs between 2015 and 2020.

Despite this prospect of growth, the spectrum of network allocations continues to be minimal in countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya. This means that the current capacity of the networks in these countries is reaching boiling point, with the potential problem of new customers being turned away.

Tom Phillips at GSMA laid out the direction the industry must take by saying “To create an environment that supports and encourages this immense growth, it is imperative that governments work in partnership with mobile operators to enable the industry to thrive throughout the region, ultimately providing affordable options to connect its citizens”.

The lack of affordability comes from high taxes being placed on the handsets and other mobile devices themselves. The taxes are currently the highest amongst all developing countries worldwide, which could certainly threaten this lack of growth. These high taxes could threaten the prospect of new investment coming in to rectify the capacity issue that the networks are experiencing.