Sub-Saharan Africa still fastest growing mobile region

Nov 11, 2013
People queue outside a mobile phone stand in Lagos, on August 18, 2008

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to remain the world's fastest growing mobile market in the coming years, an industry report said Monday.

According to the GSM Association, the region's number of unique subscribers stood at 253 million in June this year and is set to hit 346 million by 2017.

"Despite the astonishing progress of the industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in recent years, the biggest impact of mobile in Africa is yet to come," the report said.

"Roughly two thirds of the population are still without a mobile subscription, leaving much room for growth."

The region's number of mobile users have grown by 18 percent annually over the past five years but penetration is the lowest in the world at close to 31 percent.

"This highlights the long-term growth potential of the region," said the GSMA.

The continent's economic powerhouse South Africa's has 66 percent penetration, while the continent's biggest population Nigeria has reached 30 percent.

The global average is nearly one in two users, and four out of five in the European Union.

But while growth rates are slowing elsewhere, in sub-Saharan Africa this is set to remain at almost twice the global average.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 95 percent of users are on prepaid plans.

"Incremental subscriber growth will come almost entirely from rural and lower income populations, reinforcing the need to further improve the affordability of mobile services and to extend network coverage," said the GSMA.

Lowering taxes on mobile usage and phones was also highlighted in the report "Mobile Economy: Sub-Saharan Africa 2013".

The sector's contribution to GDP is the highest in the world and is set to rise to over eight percent by 2020, said the report.

Explore further: Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Africa: the new pot of gold for mobile telecoms

Dec 06, 2011

Africa's lag in land-based telecoms infrastructure has propelled the continent directly into the mobile age, opening up short-term growth prospects unparalleled in the world.

S.Africa behind other African states in Internet access

May 29, 2012

Internet penetration in South Africa, the continent's economic powerhouse, is low compared to other leading economies in Africa due to high broadband cost and a lack of infrastructure, a study said Tuesday.

Mobile industry sees 4 bn subscribers by 2018

Feb 25, 2013

The $1.0-trillion (750-million-euro) global mobile industry predicted Monday a boom in subscribers to four billion people by 2018 as the world's largest mobile fair opened in Barcelona, Spain.

Recommended for you

Dish Network denies wrongdoing in $2M settlement

7 hours ago

The state attorney general's office says Dish Network Corp. will reimburse Washington state customers about $2 million for what it calls a deceptive surcharge, but the satellite TV provider denies any wrongdoing.

Netflix's Comcast deal improves quality of video

Apr 14, 2014

Netflix's videos are streaming through Comcast's Internet service at their highest speeds in the past 17 months now that Netflix is paying for a more direct connection to Comcast's network.

New research on gigabit wireless communications

Apr 10, 2014

Research on gigabit wireless communications has been presented by researchers from the University of Bristol at the world's leading wireless communications and networking conference, IEEE WCNC 2014, in Turkey ...

Comcast, lawmakers debate mega-merger benefits

Apr 09, 2014

Comcast and skeptical lawmakers sparred Wednesday over the merits of a proposed mega-merger with Time Warner Cable which would boost the position of the largest US cable and broadband provider.

Lights, action: Tech giants rush into original TV

Apr 09, 2014

The battle of the tech giants is now moving into television. Following the success of Netflix and a fresh push by Amazon in online video, the latest players looking to get into the gold rush may be Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL, ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Intel reports lower 1Q net income, higher revenue

Intel's earnings fell in the first three months of the year amid a continued slump in the worldwide PC market, but revenue grew slightly because of solid demand for tablet processors and its data center services.

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...