Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. The number of subscribers has grown 20 percent each year in the past five years. In a report from an industry group, GSMA, or Groupe Speciale Mobile Association says there will be more than 735 million people subscribed by the end of 2012.
Experts say that landline connections are bad and expensive which are the result in high subscribers for cell phone usage in Africa. It’s reported, out of every 100 people, 65 of them have some type of mobile connection.
voice services is continuing to dominate the mobile industry and generates around $56 billion in revenue or 3.5 percent of African GDP. This data usage is growing up with 3G and 4G networks becoming more available. The start of this year it expected non-voice revenue in Africa, including text messaging services (SMS), to hit $10 billion by 2014, from about $5 billion currently.
There is still a huge amount of people in Africa that don’t have mobile phones. The report from GSMA says that more than a third of Africans are unconnected. They wat to invest in infrastructure to help expand the services to the rural areas where there is no mobile connections.
In the GSMA report, it stated Nigeria has the highest number of cell phone users in Africa with 93 million users. Where as in South Africa where there is more developed infrastructures it has the highest mobile broadband subscriptions.
Kenya is the leader in mobile money transfers, where it’s termed as “m-banking.” At 8.5 million users manage their finances on their mobile phones. “M-banking” allows user to bank without a bank account and instantly transfer money between phone. The system works from the phone’s SIM card and uses it like a bank card. Users can load their money into the cell phone at small brokers and send it to pay their bills. While the recipients can sway out the credit on their phones for cash. Afghanistan and 50 other countries have “M-banking” services.
GSMA called on governments to allocate more mobile broadband spectrum and to cut taxes on operators to further spur expansion.