With a vibrant population, abundant natural resources, and access to ocean shipping, Africa has the potential to become a major part of global supply chains and an economic powerhouse in the coming decades. The key that unlocks this future lies in energizing the continent’s people and businesses through digital infrastructure based on mobile connectivity.

According to the latest GSMA figures, the region’s unique mobile subscribers will increase from 489 million today to 692 million by 2030, a 50% penetration rate. Mobile internet users are expected to reach 32% in that year. While 3G remains dominant, demand for faster speeds is set to more than double 4G adoption to 45% over the next five years, while growing 5G momentum will rise to 17% by 2030.

Indeed, 5G is expected to benefit the Sub-Saharan African economy by $11 billion in 2030 as more businesses and organizations rely on digital technologies to operate.

Households and businesses across the continent are also embracing Internet of Things (IoT) applications to streamline processes and increase efficiency as 4G and 5G networks expand. As a result, industries that offer solutions for connected vehicles, digital payments, smart logistics, smart utilities, digital health, and smart city applications are experiencing a significant increase in opportunities across the region.

With improving international connectivity, there are also new opportunities for these and other digitally empowered enterprises to go global.

Recognizing the accelerating pace of digitalization in the region, China Mobile International (CMI) has introduced a new service model called iConnect ONE. This model is specifically tailored to empowering operators in Africa’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. By leveraging iConnect ONE alongside CMI's extensive network infrastructure and global resources, operators in the region can scale up their operations to meet growing demand for enhanced connectivity and expanded service portfolios.

One Comprehensive Network for Carriers in Africa and Worldwide

The iConnect ONE - Omni Network Enablement platform offered by CMI provides a streamlined and comprehensive solution to address the evolving needs of operators in Africa. This all-in-one approach provides operators with convenient access to a range of services, including global roaming, data connectivity, 5G, IoT offerings, and other value-added services. By leveraging these tailored solutions, operators can expand their market reach, tap into new revenue streams, and optimize costs.

The iConnect Customer Portal further enhances efficiency by providing operators with a centralized platform to manage their daily operations. Through this portal, operators can access valuable business insights and leverage professional consultancy services. This integrated approach empowers operators in Africa to streamline their services, improve agility in business management, and stay ahead in the fast-paced digital landscape.

With iConnect ONE, operators can reduce costs, enhance their offerings, and focus on their core competencies while still providing a comprehensive suite of services to their customers. Given the anticipated increase in demand for data and IoT roaming, viable business models such as IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) are necessary to support and facilitate the ongoing development of the IoT business.

Unmatched Global Connectivity and Infrastructure

CMI leverages its extensive global network to deliver a diverse range of capabilities through iConnect ONE, providing customers with unparalleled connectivity and the opportunity to seize global business opportunities. With over 230 points of presence (PoPs) worldwide and significant investments in both submarine and terrestrial cables, CMI ensures reliable and robust connectivity for its customers.

CMI has built extensive network resources on a global scale. Notably, CMI is the sole Asian operator investing in the groundbreaking 2Africa submarine cable project, enabling faster internet speeds and supporting the expansion of 5G on the continent. 2Africa will revolutionize international connectivity by linking Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. It will serve approximately 3 billion people, accounting for 36% of the global population.

This strategic investment firmly establishes CMI as a key player in delivering seamless and robust global connectivity. 2Africa will connect 46 cable landing stations in 33 countries, with a cable length of 45,000km making it one of the largest subsea projects ever attempted. Together with existing submarine cable resources (including AAE-1, SE-ME-WE-5, and PEACE) and the India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) and India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) cable systems, which are due to be ready for service in 2024, CMI can provide capacity to connect Africa to Europe, to the Middle East, and to Asia.

In addition to this extensive global network infrastructure, CMI is also focused on building reliable cloud infrastructure and services. Businesses across various industries are recognizing the advantages of cloud computing and are seeking reliable and secure cloud solutions to meet their needs. CMI is well-positioned to cater to this demand with its comprehensive cloud infrastructure. CMI’s mCloud is a cloud-network integration platform boasting more than 80 cloud PoPs, enhancing CMI's cloud infrastructure and expanding its reach. These cloud PoPs enable CMI to deliver reliable, high-performance cloud services to customers worldwide.

Collaboration for Digital Transformation

CMI is dedicated to driving digitalization in Africa through strategic collaboration. By partnering with local operators, CMI can offer innovative solutions that enable end-customers to harness the vast potential of 5G technology.

With its wealth of experience and successful implementation of 5G networks in Africa and globally, CMI is well-positioned to drive the digital transformation of the telecommunications industry. Through collaboration with local operators and the introduction of innovative solutions, CMI aims to accelerate 5G adoption and digitalization in Africa and around the world. This will enable operators to unlock new growth opportunities, strengthen their market position, and make significant contributions to the ongoing digital revolution.

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