Angola: ICT sector records 55% annual growth

The Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector in Angola recorded an annual growth rate of over 55% over the past 10 years and currently has more than 14 million consumers.

This was one of the main conclusions presented in Luanda this week, as part of the first edition of the Angolan Forum for Telecommunications and Information Technology. The Angolan Telecommunications Forum is an initiative held by the Angolan Ministry of Telecommunications as way to place the debate on these issues on the agenda. The organization foresees the possibility to conduct new editions.

Under the theme “The current challenges in the sector “, the conference highlighted some of the key trends and features of the industry, which has been enjoying strong growth as a result of public and private investment in infrastructures and in the improvement and update of the legislative and regulatory framework in order to assure a better functioning of the industry. The data reveals the maturity of technology and telecommunications in Angola compared to other African markets.

One of the highlights of the debate was the issue of granting new licenses for telecommunications operators in Angola, as well as the resulting negative impact that this measure could bring, by leading to a probable disinvestment in the sector. It was concluded that the industry requires for national mobile and Internet operators on the market to strengthen their positions, so that they can increasingly focus on innovation and improved services to the population.

Boris Nemsic, Executive Partner of Delta Partners, and Hamadoun Touré, Former President of the UN-ITU, highlighted the global trend towards consolidation in the telecommunications sector, as well as the need for them to maintain competitiveness and sustainability through successful initiatives. For this purpose it was noted that increasing the granting of licenses does not necessarily represent an increase in investment and innovation and that it could actually lead to a weaker sector.

The exponential increase in the demand for broadband, especially in the mobile segment, stood out among the main trends in the industry, being considered the greatest driver of growth in the coming years.

The fixed telecommunications market was identified as a great investment opportunity for the future of Telecommunications in Angola, both by improving network quality and coverage as well as in terms of services and penetration. The current penetration rate in this market is of one percent only, leading the speakers at the event to conclude that there is an opportunity of growth in this segment. 

The 1st Angolan Forum for Telecommunications and Information Technology was attended by key stakeholders in the Angolan telecommunications and economic sectors, namely the Minister of Telecommunications, José Carvalho Rocha; the Minister of Economy, Abrão Gourgel; the Secretary of State for Telecommunications, Aristides Safeca; the Secretary of State for Information Technology, Pedro Teta; the National Director of Telecommunications, Eduardo Sebastião; chairmen and CEO of the main national operators, including the Chairman of Unitel, Isabel dos Santos, as well as international experts in the sector.

In addition to the various presentations, a study was released that reflects the current reality of the industry in Angola.

Key findings include:

-  Angola was the first operator in Africa to test High Speed ??Internet technology (LTE-Advanced with speed up to 400Mbps);

- The country has a mobile penetration rate of about 75%, within the African average;

-  Internet penetration rate is of 20% only, representing a growth opportunity;

-  There are about 3.5M smartphones in the Angolan market, a relevant value considering the African average;

-  There are about 25,000 kilometers of optical fiber installed in the country, which is an important infrastructure for the provision of services;

-  The penetration rate of fixed accesses in total households is of only 1%, which represents a clear opportunity for growth in the sector.