African mobile subscriptions to surpass 1bn in 2016

Mobile phone in africa Simon Berry flickr CC BY SA 2.0Mobile penetration in Africa was 79 per cent at the end of June 2016. (Photo: Simon Berry/Flickr CC BY SA 2.0)Africa is expected to reach 1bn mobile subscriptions in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 1.02bn by year-end, according to research from Ovum


The advisory firm predicts that the total number of mobile subscriptions on the continent total 1.33bn at the end of 2021.

According to the firm, the average rate of mobile penetration in Africa was 79 per cent at the end of June 2016.

Ovum notes that data capabilities, as well as data and digital service revenue, is set to drive growth in Africa’s telecoms market.

Mobile broadband will rise dramatically, as operators continue to launch 3G and 4G LTE networks. 

“As Africa nears the landmark of one billion mobile subscriptions, it is clear that the next phase of growth will be in broadband connections and in revenue from data access as well as from new ‘digital services’ such as digital media and mobile financial services,” said Matthew Reed, practice leader, Middle East and Africa, at Ovum.

“However, Africa remains less advanced than most other world regions in its broadband development, and there is both an opportunity and a need to further improve connectivity on the continent, and to take advantage of the benefits that connectivity can bring."

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