The purpose of this paper is to analyse the recent restructuring of the African mobile telecommunications sector, to examine how mobile telecommunications supports economic development and to assess how such development will be influenced by the restructuring.
An original database has been compiled and linked to recent merger and acquisition activity in the African telecommunications sector. The theoretical/case study literature on the link between mobile telecommunications and economic development is reviewed. This is then linked to the recent restructuring activity in Africa.
After something of a lull during the mid‐2000s, M&A activity has once again become frenetic over the past two years. It is too early to be certain of the eventual structure of the African mobile telecommunications sector, but in the medium term the reallocation of networks to well‐funded and efficient operators should provide a spur to renewed economic growth.
The structure of the sector is never in final equilibrium, so it is difficult to assess how long it will take for the benefits for economic growth to show through.
In the past, inadequately funded and managerially limited operators have expanded beyond their capabilities. Hopefully, this time around ambition will not outstrip capability.
Economic growth and societal development should be enhanced by recent M&A activity in the African mobile sector.
There are precious few completely up‐to‐date case studies on mobile telecommunications. This will help to fill the existing gap.
Curwen, P. and Whalley, J. (2011), "The restructuring of African mobile telecommunications provision and the prospects for economic development", info, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 53-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636691111121638Download as .RIS
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