Africa is world’s second most connected region by mobile subscriptions
Number of mobile subscriptions in Africa to reach one billion in 2016
Africa has become the second most connected region in the world in terms of mobile subscription count, up from fourth place at end of 2010, according to new research by Informa Telecoms & Media. There were over 616 million mobile subscriptions in Africa at the end of September, which means that the mobile market on the continent is second only to Asia-Pacific in terms of mobile subscription numbers.
Africa’s mobile-subscription count overtook that of Western Europe during 2Q11 and then overtook the Americas in 3Q11. At end-2010, less than a year ago, Africa was only the fourth largest regional mobile market by subscriptions, coming after Asia-Pacific, Western Europe and the Americas.
“The combination in Africa of a still relatively immature telecoms market with factors including population growth, strong competition among providers and the increasing affordability of mobile devices, explains Africa’s move up the regional mobile-market rankings as well as its strong growth forecast,” said Matthew Reed, head of mobile research for the Middle East and Africa at Informa Telecoms & Media. “Africa’s mobile market is heading towards a major landmark: the number of mobile subscriptions on the continent will cross the one billion mark in 2016 according to our latest forecast.”
Africa will retain its position as the second biggest regional mobile market by subscriptions, according to Informa’s forecasts for the coming five years. However, there is a strong trend for Africa mobile subscribers to have multiple SIM cards and consequently the number of unique users of mobile services on the continent is smaller than the number of subscriptions. The number of unique users in Africa at end-2016 is forecasted to be 572.35 million.
Nigeria will continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market by subscriptions, with a forecasted 152.09 million subscriptions at end-2016. Egypt will hold onto its position as Africa’s second-biggest mobile market, with a forecasted 118.03 million subscriptions at end-2016. South Africa, the continent’s third largest mobile market, will have 80.56 million mobile subscriptions at end-2016.
As the African market matures, the retention of existing customers is becoming increasingly important. A recent survey by Informa Telecoms & Media into the views of African operators on customer loyalty found that 21.8% of respondents ranked customer retention as their main priority while 18.2% said it was customer acquisition, and 60% said that customer retention and customer acquisition were equally important.
AfricaCom is Africa’s largest communications conference & exhibition. Now in its 14th year, this trailblazing event gathers together 5,000 senior decision-makers from the telecoms, media and ICT industries. This year a record 150+ speakers will share their vision of Africa’s future communications landscape and the agenda has expanded t incorporate 2 brand new events – AfricaCast and Enterprise ICT Africa – which will attract new audiences from the broadcast and business sectors respectively.
Notes to Editors:
Figures include some estimates.
About Informa Telecoms & Media
Informa Telecoms & Media is the leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets. Our aim is to provide actionable, strategic advice and forecasting on all aspects of the music, mobile and fixed, entertainment markets.
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