High mobile Internet penetration rates in Nigeria and several African markets continue to offer huge opportunities for Wi-Fi vendors on the continent, according to a market survey.
The new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Strategic Analysis of Public Wi-Fi in Sub-Saharan Africa” finds that there are market opportunities for public Wi-Fi in Nigeria and other markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.[blockquote cite=”Frost & Sullivan”]”Traditionally, Internet service providers and specialist Wi-Fi providers have dominated the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots in Sub-Saharan Africa, while mobile operators have previously avoided migration due to concerns of it cannibalising mobile data revenues.” [/blockquote]
According to Frost & Sullivan, the exponential rise in the number of Internet users and overall broadband services is paving the way for the public Wi-Fi market in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Despite investments in 3G and 4G networks, service providers are expected to rely on Wi-Fi to offload some of the data, especially in megacities where networks face heavy mobile traffic congestion”, according to the report which spotted that high mobile Internet penetration rates in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya offer huge opportunities for Wi-Fi vendors.
“The evolution of several megacities into smart cities in Sub-Saharan Africa is laying the foundation for the adoption of smart building and smart grid solutions across the continent,” Lehlohonolo Mokenela, Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst.
“As a result, device manufacturers are focusing on the development of Wi-Fi enabled devices for use in smart solutions, quickening the march towards greater Wi-Fi penetration.”
Traditionally, Internet service providers and specialist Wi-Fi providers have dominated the deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots in Sub-Saharan Africa, while mobile operators have previously avoided migration due to concerns of it cannibalising mobile data revenues, according to Frost & Sullivan.
“There are, however, increasing signs of operators turning to Wi-Fi as an alternative opportunity to generate revenue or boost service quality.”
Also, due to a limited hotspot footprint, operators will need to build their own Wi-Fi networks or partner with established Wi-Fi providers. Providing Wi-Fi access in prime locations, such as airports and restaurants, will help improve customer value and reduce subscriber churn, the research authors cited.
“In the long-term, operators should consider offering their customers a seamless handover of data access between Wi-Fi and cellular networks,” advised Mokenela. “To that end, they will need to address security, service quality, billing and cost differentials between the networks to ensure a consistent experience for customers.”