- The new report on telecoms, says the East Africa's telecoms competition is the fastest growing as compared to other regions.
The report, African Telecoms and Internet Markets, said the top mobile markets in East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands are amongst the most liberalised on the continent, citing Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda that all have about 10 million subscribers.
According to the report the liberalisation of mobile licences in the three countries has benefited most Africans as the cost of owning and using a mobile phone has dramatically dropped.
“Tanzania and Uganda have what is known as a unified licensing framework and this has encouraged operators to offer mobile broadband to their subscribers,” it said, further stating that each country now has several hundred thousand subscribers who access the Internet using their mobile phone.
The report also said in the region, there have been dramatic drops in mobile charges, opening the market to a wider number of users, citing Kenya as a example saying in the third quarter of 2007 and last quarter of 2008, calls to other subscribers on the same network fell by over half.
It said despite the advantage of most of East Africa states that have the advantage of high population, other small Islands with higher GDP, and which are tourist detonations also have proven to be competitive in the market.
The report said the Seacom international cable which is already operational and the Kenyan government initiated project which is expected to follow soon, will enhance the telecommunications in the region.
“In addition, France Telecom has a project called LION that will connect various of the Indian Ocean islands into these new international cable connections in October 2009, the build has been completed and it now awaits licensing approval,” the report said.
The mainland East African countries currently connected by satellite will see a large increase in international bandwidth used as prices come down from around US$5,000 per mbps to something more like US$500 on the new fibre connections, according to the report.
It said the cheaper bandwidth price should lead to cheaper Internet prices for consumers.
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