A study by Pyramid Research has concluded mobile subscribers in the African and Middle East region will pass the one billion mark in the first quarter of this year, overtaking developed markets.
The research revealed emerging markets, including those in Africa, are the driving force behind converged global communications, media and technology industries, which will reach seven billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2013.
Daniel Amparan, Pyramid Research’s Managing Director, said: “Pyramid Research projects that globally, we’ll reach the seven billion mobile subscription mark in December 2013. This milestone is particularly significant because it translates into a 100 percent penetration mark.
“Mobile subscribers in the African and Middle East region will surpass the one billion mark in the first quarter, making it the second region to reach this milestone after Asia-Pacific.”
Amparan added the developed market service revenue will be overtaken by the emerging market service revenue by a ratio of five to one.
The research report found approximately 90 percent of the two billion subscribers to access online services in the next five years will originate in regions with emerging markets.
“Exposure to emerging markets has become a critical factor for success in an industry characterised by stagnation in developed markets, intense competition, consumer choice and disruptive business models,” said Amparan.
Concerning global Long-Term Evolution (LTE) trends, Pyramid Research expects it will pass the 100 million subscriber mark by May this year and “will grow at an impressive 65 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years. We expect LTE to reach the one billion subscription mark in 2018, less than 10 years after its introduction.”