Africa Edges In On 750 Million Mobile Subscriber Base

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VENTURES AFRICA – Reports have emerged that by the last quarter of 2012, the number of mobile subscriptions across the African continent is expected to exceed the 750 million mark and reach 1 billion before the end of 2015.

According to cp-Africa, telecom market consultancy firm Informa Telecoms & Media, stated that Africa has the world’s second-biggest mobile market region by subscription count, behind Asia-Pacific but ahead of Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Matthew Reed, principal analyst at Informa for Africa and the Middle East said Africa’s mobile market is experiencing continued robust growth, fueled by “competition among mobile operators, the availability of new data services and strong economic growth on the continent.”

Earlier in the month, George Ferreira, VP and COO, Samsung electronics Africa, also declared that Africa has now become the world’s second largest mobile phone market after China.

Samsung said the continent accounts for 40 percent of its sales and from January 2013 it would begin integrating African content, including languages, on its phones, in an effort to appeal more to the African market.

Ferreira also added that Nigeria has the highest cellphone penetration on the continent, with a reach of 41 percent. South Africa, the continent’s greatest foreign investment drawer, followed with a 31 percent penetration, with east Africa’s tech hub, Kenya, trailing on a 7 percent reach.

Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that Nigeria, which crossed the 100 million mobile subscriptions threshold in the second quarter of 2012, will continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market and forecasts it will have 168.99 million subscriptions at the end of 2017, followed by Egypt with 129.4 million.

Also, the number of mobile subscriptions in Africa is expected to reach 761 million at the end of 2012, and will rise to 1.13 billion at the end of 2017.