Improving urban and rural coverage in East Africa
Indoor and outdoor DAS, policy changes and innovative business models
East Africa is a dichotomy; in urban areas, increasing population density, construction and data usage is presenting MNOs and towercos with one set of challenges, whilst meeting coverage requirements for a large underserved population in remote, rural areas presents totally different issues. At the East Africa roundtable at the 2016 TowerXchange Meetup, participants focussed on how the East African stakeholders must collaborate to address challenges at both ends of the spectrum.
The East African mobile market and tower industry
When comparing East Africa’s mobile markets some stark contrasts can be observed. In Tanzania and Uganda you have markets ripe for consolidation with eight MNOs active in each, whilst in Ethiopia there is a monopoly with Ethio Telecom being the sole operator present; SIM penetration ranges from around 40% in countries such as Burundi and Ethiopia and rises to 78% in Kenya; whilst Ethiopia boasts the highest broadband mobile penetration at 58% versus just 4% in Burundi .