EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Bridging the Mobile Digital Divide in Sub-Saharan Africa: Costing under Demographic Change and Urbanization

C. Emre Alper () and Michal Miktus

No 2019/249, IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund

Abstract: Digital connectivity, including through the modern cellular network technologies, is expected to play a key role for the Future of Work in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We estimate the cost of introducing a full-scale 4G network by 2025 in SSA and an operable 5G network by 2040. We adapt the costing model of Lombardo (2019) by accounting for the significant demographic transformation and rapid urbanization in SSA. We use the WorldPop and GADM databases and the UN’s medium-variant population projections to project the population densities at the highest level of administrative division for each SSA country in 2025 and 2040. For full 4G connectivity, the required capital and operational costs stands approximately at US$14 billion by 2025 and for 5G connectivity, costs amount to US$57 billion in 2040, conditional on having the 4G in place by 2025. These costs roughly translate to 8.4 percent of annual subscriber income, on a median basis, by 2025 for 4G and 4.9 percent of subscriber income by 2040 for 5G. Having the infrastructure in place is not sufficient to bridge the mobile Digital Divide. In addition, policies are needed to address affordability and knowledge gaps.

Keywords: WP; internet access; Digitalization; 5G cellular network; Demographics; Urbanization; SSA economy; SSA population; SSA GDP; technology adoption; aggregate cost estimate; network cost; Infrastructure; Capital spending; Public expenditure review; Global; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40
Date: 2019-11-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pay
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2)

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.aspx?sk=48793 (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/249

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IMF Working Papers from International Monetary Fund International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC USA. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Akshay Modi ().

 
Page updated 2024-04-15
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/249