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Mobile penetration in Africa is now at 80% and growing fast

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Mobile penetration in Africa is now at 80% and growing fast
As we have been saying for quite a while, and as we have been seeing more recently, emerging markets are the next big battle fields for mobile handset makers. The high-end markets in North America, Europe and Asia have essentially stabilized, but there are still huge sections of the world where mobile phones are not yet ubiquitous, let alone smartphones. One region where that is quickly changing is Africa.

A new report by TA Telecom says that mobile penetration on the African continent has reached 80%, and is still the fastest growing region in the world. That means 8 out of 10 Africans have a mobile phone, which adds up to approximately 802.4 million people. After Asia, Africa is the second largest market in the world. 

Of course, the majority of mobile devices on the continent are still feature phones, and the majority of wireless networks are 2G, meaning voice and SMS only. According to the data, about 63% of mobile connections in Africa are only 2G, while about 26% are 2.5G (EDGE) which adds low-speed data, and just 11% are 3G connections. 

Companies like Google have worked to make as many services as possible accessible through SMS, and to find ways to increase high-speed mobile data across the continent. As those networks are built out, the move to smartphones will undoubtedly begin speeding up considerably.

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posted on 04 Dec 2013, 21:58 4

1. Bernoulli (Posts: 1448; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


How has Google contributed to finding "ways to increase high speed mobile data across the continent" please elaborate on that because last time I checked Google doesn't build wireless networks

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 23:57 2

3. sipha (Posts: 270; Member since: 12 May 2012)


they actualy are in the process of building them, its something they started last year(i think)...its only on the most rural areas for some reason and they talking very cheap prices as well...am in africa!!

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 08:20

8. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2673; Member since: 26 May 2011)


as is said in the link provided in the article, Google has heavily invested in O3b, which is a company dedicated to bringing high-speed wireless internet to "the next 3 billion" internet users. O3b mostly works with satellite internet connections.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 21:37

9. deewinc (Posts: 157; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


The best way Google has assisted Africa to grow its mobile penetration rate is via Android. A good example is the Huawei Ideos when it launched to the African market a few years ago. The phone had a price tag of US$50 toppling off some expensive Nokia feature phones such as the Nokia 6300 e.t.c

The report asserts that, Africa does a lot more of voice and SMS? Well they are wrong. Android smartphones are now cheaper than some feature phones like the Alcatel Tpop.

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 22:20

2. hemedans (Posts: 153; Member since: 01 Jun 2013)


me too i want to know how google help us, only nokia is our saviour here in africa. major networks like vodafone(vodacom) and airtel gave contract to nokia(nsn) to supply 3g in many areas. and its cheap you can find 8 hours unlimited internet for only tsh 500 (approximate 0.3 usd dollar) with speed around 8mbps.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 00:58

5. androiphone20 (Posts: 1444; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


You could look up Project loon, project link and blimps on Google

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 23:58 1

4. sipha (Posts: 270; Member since: 12 May 2012)


and here in south africa it has even hit 120%

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 01:34

6. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2653; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


India is there to play first ODI.

posted on 05 Dec 2013, 06:36

7. Cyberchum (Posts: 269; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


With cheap Androids comes a huge growth in Nigeria. Nokia is the most hit, they've only a miniscule of market share left which will get even lower next year.

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