Low fixed line communication access in Angola, due to poor fixed-line infrastructure, is being surpassed by technological developments within the mobile communication market. Infrastructure development in Luanda, and other provinces, is poised to boost communication accessibility.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Angolan Mobile Communication Market, finds that the mobile communications market earned revenues of $8,8-billion in 2010, and estimates this to reach $15.2 billion in 2015. Revenue growth will be driven by the increase in the number of subscribers.

“The mobile communication penetration rate of 57.0 per cent indicates growth opportunities within the mobile communication sector,” notes Frost & Sullivan’s ICT industry analyst Naila Govan-Vassen. “The usage of GSM network technology by operators, such as Unitel and Movicel, has increased subscriber connectivity, even while enabling them to communicate with the users of different service providers.”

Mobile communication capital expenditure (Capex) reached its peak between 2008 and 2010. From 2010, Capex is expected to slowly decrease as investment in infrastructural development reaches its final stages.

“While Capex decreases, operational expenditures (OPEX) are increasing, with operational expenses projected to overtake capital expenditures by 2013,” says Govan-Vassen. “Mobile subscriber growth is inevitable although the increase in subscriber revenues will not be easily achievable.”

This is attributed to high levels of poverty, high political influence on the mobile market and an unstable global economy along with fluctuating oil prices. Moreover, although the increase in investments in the Angolan economy will lead to increased employment and disposal incomes, the economic uncertainty may deter spending.

Unitel and Movicel continue to dominate the mobile market. However, as GSM technology is now being used by both operators, the only two factors that will differentiate them are service delivery and quality along with pricing strategies. It has been speculated that a third operator, currently awaiting licensing, will also enter the fray.

Planning an effective marketing and pricing strategy is important to expand customer subscriptions, which will lead to enhanced revenue market share. Both mobile operators need to perform different strategies in order to achieve the same goal – an increase in subscriber share.

“They will need to retain existing subscribers and ensure continued customer loyalty,” concludes Govan-Vassen. “Strong marketing and advertising campaigns are needed to achieve such goals.”