Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in terms of mobile subscriptions having hit the 750 million mark with 1 billion expected by 2015.
A forecast by Informa Telecoms and Media stated: “Africa has the highest rate of growth in mobile subscriptions among major world regions, with the number of mobile subscriptions in Africa forecasted to grow by 17.5 percent over the year to end-2012, a higher rate than in any other major world region and above the world average of 10.75 percent over the same period.”
This growth has seen various applications being launched in the market to their success. Products like mobile money transfer have become a big innovation even in private banks.
“Africa’s mobile market continues to grow robustly, driven by competition among mobile operators, , the availability of new data services and strong economic growth on the continent,” said Matthew Reed, principal analyst for Africa and the Middle East at Informa Telecoms & Media.
The report also states that Africa has the world’s second largest mobile market by subscription. This is in second to Asia-Pacific region. The rest follow in tow behind Africa, once taunted as the Dark Continent.
Africa’s mobile-subscription count overtook that of both Western Europe and Latin America during 2011, according to the report.
Nigeria and Egypt are the two biggest markets in Africa. Nigeria already surpassed the 100 million mark and is expected to hit 168 million subscribers in 2017. Egypt’s subscription will be a little over 129 million in the same year.
Thre is even more good news. Africa’s mobile phone penetration is still the lowest compared to other regions of the world. With this, there is more opportunity to grow.
“And substantial opportunities for further growth remain, because the rate of mobile penetration in Africa is the lowest among major world regions and fixed networks are under-developed or absent across much of the continent,” Reed said.