African Mobile Penetration Tops 80%
The latest report on the growth of African telecommunications has revealed that cell phone penetration reached 80% in the first quarter of 2013 and continued to grow all year. Showing a 4.2% annual growth, Africa is officially the fastest growing mobile market in the world, as well as the second largest market after Asia.
Today, more than 8 out of every 10 Africans have a mobile phone, though only a third of all phone connections on the continent have internet or data capability. Whilst next generation connections like 4G LTE are not available yet, the number of mobile internet connections is considered to rise. Only 11% of all African cellphone users have 3G access to data or mobile internet, and there will need to be serious infrastructure changes before this is remedied.
Currently, smartphones have penetrated 20% of the African cellphone market, though the cost is obviously prohibitive to a lot of people. As more network infrastructure is built in key African countries such as Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, internet connectivity and communication is only expected to rise; in fact, data revenue for telecoms has increased by 67% in the last few years.