The long, slow death of mobile competition in selected Africa markets – finding a way out of this dead end

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The long, slow death of mobile competition in selected Africa markets – finding a way out of this dead end

5 August 2022

Several decades ago competition was introduced to the new African mobile markets. Competition was supposed to deliver three things: cheaper prices, better service and innovation. Several decades later Russell Southwood looks at how ideas of competition have stalled in key African markets. When first launched, the unstated assumption about competition was as follows. If there were two competing mobile operators, they would tend to copy each other’s price offers and the market would stay the same. Initially there was some support for two-company competition. When MTN entered Uganda it bought innovative pricing (pre-pay) and quickly expanded the market. But this…