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Sub-Saharan Africa to witness fastest growth in mobile usage

Staff writer |
The Sub-Saharan African (SSA) mobile market presents significant opportunities for telecommunication companies, device and module vendors, and application providers.

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With the SSA telecommunications market maturing, and mobile phones taking on the role of service delivery platforms, the region is proving to be extremely lucrative for players in the mobile ecosystem.

Mobile broadband connections are now anticipated to quadruple from its 2012 figure to reach 160 million in 2016.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Sub-Saharan African Mobile End-user Trends, expects the market to be on a strong upward trajectory as more than half the population has no access to a mobile phone. The mobile penetration in the region is expected to increase from 52 percent in 2012 to 79 percent in 2020. Overall, in terms of mobile phone usage, SSA will be the fastest growing region globally over the next seven years.

"The introduction of affordable smartphones, specifically designed for the African market, has improved the market scenario," said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Industry Analyst.

"Mobile broadband connections are now anticipated to quadruple from its 2012 figure to reach 160 million in 2016. This uptrend reflects the gradual change in consumer habits, as they gain their first Internet experience through a mobile device."

The key drivers that increase the uptake of mobile broadband internet in SSA are the increased coverage of 3G networks, the rise of local content, and the development of a range of new apps. Mobile broadband is a tremendous driver in the mobile market as fixed lines throughout SSA are constrained by cost, coverage and reliability.


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