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GSMA Highlights Key Trends Shaping the Future of Mobile

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The GSMA has published its second annual ‘Global Mobile Trends’ report, which provides exclusive data and analysis on the key trends shaping the future of the mobile ecosystem.

Published at Mobile World Congress Americas being held in San Francisco this week, the 2017 edition of this flagship report series compiles data on mobile subscriber growth trends across both developed and emerging markets, plus insight on: device innovation beyond the smartphone; the evolution from 4G to 5G networks; industry financial performance and growth outlook; competition and convergence; and statistics for every region worldwide.

“Our latest Global Mobile Trends report provides a comprehensive view of the opportunities and challenges facing the mobile industry as we move into a new era of ubiquitous connectivity,” said Laxmi Akkaraju Chief Strategy Officer at the GSMA.

“Built on best-in-class GSMA Intelligence data and produced by our in-house team of industry analysts, today’s report maps out how future networks and operator business models are evolving within a rapidly shifting industry landscape.”

Key takeaways from the 2017 edition of the Global Mobile Trends: Connecting the next billion: Five billion people are now connected to mobile networks, representing two-thirds of the world’s population. However, growth is slowing; it took four years to move from 4 billion to 5 billion subscribers and connecting the next billion will take longer still. Meanwhile, smartphone and mobile broadband growth is driving mobile internet usage and engagement, and new form factors are emerging beyond the smartphone.

Rapid 4G growth: Industry excitement around 5G overlooks the fact that 4G still has plenty of headroom for future growth. 4G is forecast to account for two-thirds of global mobile connections by 2025 (up from around a quarter today), driven by increasing 4G adoption over this period in major emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Indonesia.

The pathway to 5G: Early 5G deployments will likely target high-bandwidth applications as an extension to 4G, notably 8K ultra-HD video and VR/AR apps, although the US will focus initially on using 5G as a last-mile technology for home broadband. South Korea and Japan are likely to be among the first 5G markets, showcasing the technology at the Olympics in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

However, on a global basis, it’s expected that 5G networks will be rolled out at a slower rate than 4G and adoption is therefore also likely to be slower.

Transforming the network: A paradigm shift in network architecture is required to support the shift to 5G and Internet of Things that requires the creation of decentralised networks that combine a number of network technologies (e.g. small cells, LPWA), using software-controlled network functions, and running over both licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Edge computing and network slicing will be needed to support major 5G applications. 

Telecoms and media converging: Convergence is now occurring at an industry level, as evidenced by the recent M&A boom that is creating telco-media conglomerates that seek to unlock new opportunities by combining content offerings with core network services; examples include Verizon/AOL/Yahoo and the proposed tie-up between AT&T and Time Warner.

However, investors have yet to price in a growth premium for converged telco-media plays, which continue to be valued significantly below major tech players.

The quintet of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix have collectively grown enterprise value 3.5x since 2010, with large telecoms operators remaining relatively flat over this period.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NCC: US Delegation‎ Visits Commission, Lauds Regulatory Strides

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(L-R): Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Manager, U.S Embassy; Engr. Ubale Ahmed Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Mudari Aliyu Dura

 

Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Thursday, received a delegation from the United States Embassy in Abuja,

The team, led by Rachel Atwood Mendiola, Fraud Prevention Manager, United States Embassy, was received by the Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive, Prof. Umar Danbatta and other top Management staff of the Commission.

The delegation was at the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Head Office to gain insight into the workings of the Commission and to commend NCC’s Management for its regulatory strides in sustaining the growth of the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

 

Prof.Danbatta while addressing the delegation, recalled to the admiration of his guests some of the Commission’s efforts in ensuring effective regulation of the telecoms sector and providing an enabling environment for telecoms services to flourish, exponentially attributing the Commission’s successes to the faith reposed on it by the consumers and their unflinching loyalty.

 

And that is, the reason the Commission commits itself irrevocably to protecting the interest of consumers and all stakeholders in the industry.

He told his guests that, “NCC continues to be a strategic member and active participant in the activities of many bodies including the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), African Telecommunications Union (ATU), and the West Africa Telecommunication Regulators Assembly (WATRA).”

To demonstrate the resilience of the telecommunication sector even in the face of challenging economic climate, Danbatta stayed that the sector contributed about 9.5% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in the second quarter of 2017 and credited the Nigerian telecom consumers with the successes recorded because of their patronage.

The EVC/CEO of NCC said it is the faith the consumers have demonstrated in the sector that made the Management of the Commission to declare the 2017 as the Year of the Telecom Consumer to celebrate the primacy of the consumer and to rededicate itself to addressing the challenges of the consumer.

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NCC Ignores Telcos, Says No to OTT Regulation

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Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman

Nigerian Communications Commission [NCC] has said it can’t regulate Over The Top Technology [OTT] for now, refusing the telecom operators’ call that the technology be regulated in the country.

 

OTT operators are firms like Facebook, WhatsApp, 2go, Instagram and others who ride on social media to reach their audience.

 

Prof Umar Garuba Danbatta, NCC’s executive vice chairman disclosed this Thursday when a delegation from the United States [US] embassy paid a working visit to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

 

‘’ The operators are saying we should do something about the OTT. That the OTT is riding on their infrastructure to make money and all other. But it will be very difficult to regulate OTT,” Prof Danbatta said.

 

According to him, though NCC understands the operators’ plight ‘’ the truth is that there is nothing we can do for now’’.

 

The NCC EVC, said he had interacted with head of telecom industry’s regulatory agencies in US and some other advanced economies and he was indirectly told that OTT couldn’t be regulated for now.

 

He also said NCC couldn’t regulate content in the social media as this falls within the jurisdiction of its sister regulatory agency, the National Broadcasting Commission [NBC].

 

He also told the US embassy delegation which was led by Rachael Atwood Mendiola to convince US investors to come and invest in Nigeria’s telecom industry as this is the best time to stake their money in the country.

 

‘’We want investors to come and invest in telecoms infrastructure across the country. I believe they will make their money in no time. Our investment environment is becoming friendlier, our security has improved greatly and the Federal Government had promised some number of incentives for would-be investors.

 

‘’ Plus we still have access gap. We still have about 200 locations across the country yet to have telecom services. This has cut off about 40million people, including people in my local government in Kano. So, investors can come in and take this opportunities.’’, he said.

 

But he said the NCC was working to see the access gaps blocked in the next two years.

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Nigeria to Increase Mobile Broadband Subscriptions to 50% by 2020

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NCC headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria

By peter oluka

Nigeria has disclosed plans to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

This was disclosed by Mr Bolaji Akinremi, minister plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘Information and Communications Technologies for Development’ at the UN General Assembly’s debate in New York.

Active mobile broadband subscription is the number of subscriptions to mobile cellular networks with access to data communications – like the Internet – at broadband downstream speeds of 256 kilobit per second.

Nigeria’s mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants increased from 1.0 inhabitant in 2012 to 11.7 inhabitants in 2016.

Akinremi said Nigeria recognised the direct impact of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) on the wellbeing of Nigerians.

“The Government of Nigeria recognises the reality that Information and Communications Technologies has direct impact on the nation’s ability to improve the economic wellbeing of its people.

“The Government of Nigeria is committed to facilitating universal availability and cost-effective access to communications infrastructure and promoting utilisation of ICT in all spheres of life.

“Nigeria is committed to achieving cutting-edge global ICT standards, encourage rapid ICT penetration among all socio-economic levels.

“The Government of Nigeria is also committed to increasing the current coverage of the active mobile broadband subscription per 100 from 20.95 per cent to 50 per cent by 2020.

“Nigeria is committed to promoting and encouraging local production of ICT hard and software so as to reduce import dependence and generate foreign exchange by exporting to the regional and continental markets”.

He said that involving developing countries in the ICT revolution would bridge the wide gap of access to information among people.

According to him, if the information gap keeps widening, the possibility of attaining sustainable development by 2030 is not certain.

“It is in this vein that Nigeria further calls on Member States to consider giving Information and Communications Technologies a pride of place in the education curriculum. By so doing, they will undoubted bridge the digital divide,” Akinremi added.

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