Huawei Technologies Sees African Revenue Growing Up to 30%

The company plans to capitalize on low mobile-broadband penetration rates and increasing demand for smart phones in Africa.
Africa has less than five mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, compared with more than 10 percent the rest of the world, according to the International Telecommunications Union, a Geneva-based industry group. Over the next five years, the continent is expected to be the fastest growing region in terms of mobile-phone connections, according to A.T. Kearney, the Chicago-based consultancy.

“There is still much room to grow, so we can see that in the next three years network availability will be improved greatly,” Chief Technology Officer for East & Southern Africa Region Radoslaw Kedzia said at the interview. “This is why we can grow 20 percent to 30 percent.”

Huawei’s southern and eastern African business comprises 25 countries including South Africa, Angola and Kenya. The company posted revenue of $3.42 billion in 2011, up 15 percent from $2.98 billion in 2010 for the entire African region, Li said. Total sales account for 13 percent of global sales, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

“If you look at the penetration of mobile broadband compared to European countries or compared with China, there is a lot of potential,” Li said. “In my region, the penetration of smart phones is 10 percent. In China, mobile broadband penetration is 30 percent, in Europe it is more than 50 percent and 16 percent in Kenya. So there is still a lot of potential.”

Newsletter sign up