Image from theeastafrican.co.ke
GSMA said the increase in global data consumption relates to the introduction of numerous mobile devices like tablets, low-cost smartphones and connected devices.
The report further projects mobile data revenue to be the main source of income for telecom companies by 2018.
Ovum Research puts the total data revenue by 2016 in Kenya at US$828 million compared to voice revenue of US$789 million. Globally, data earnings will peak at US$559 billion compared to voice US$547 billion by 2018.
“Mobile data is not just a commodity, but is becoming the lifeblood of our daily lives, society and economy, with more and more connected people and things,” said Michael O'Hara, the GSMA’s chief marketing officer.
“This is an immense responsibility and the mobile industry needs to continue collaborating with governments and key industry sectors to deliver products and services that help people around the world improve their businesses and societies.”
GSMA’s report also denotes the use of mobile applications that will change the lives of those in Sub Saharan Africa. It highlights that:
- mHealth will help save one million lives in sub-Saharan Africa;
- mAutomotive will improve food transport and storage, which could help feed more than 40 million people annually – equivalent to entire the population of Kenya;
- mEducation can enable 180 million students to further their education;
- Intelligent transport systems could reduce commute times by 35 per cent, giving commuters back a whole week each year.
Safaricom, the leading integrated communication company in Kenya, recently reported that it would be selling smartphones in its stores, ceasing the sale of feature phones. The company also launched the new YOLO smartphone in conjunction with Intel.