Mobile Internet that involves using phones and devices rather than landlines remain the predominant through which majority of users in sub-Saharan Africa connect to the Internet, according to a new report by a key global mobile industry trade group.
[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=””Mobile Economy 2014: Sub-Saharan Africa” by GSMA”]”According to the report, the implementation of commercially-agreed network sharing deals and ensuring the timely release of Digital Dividend spectrum will be important factors in achieving this goal.”[/blockquote]
Mobile devices are the primary means of accessing the Internet in sub-Saharan Africa, the new report by the GSM Association (GSMA) titled ‘Mobile Economy 2014: Sub-Saharan Africa’ has revealed.
According to the report, this phenomenon can be attributed to the the lack of fixed-line infrastructure in the region. At the end of 2013, there were almost 150 million individuals using mobile devices to access the internet across the region, out of which over 60 percent were doing so via 2G devices.
The mobile Internet penetration rate in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase to 37 percent by 2020, with an additional 240 million people across the region becoming mobile internet users over the period.
The report revealed that despite strong subscriber growth in recent years across the region, sub-Saharan Africa is still the world’s least penetrated mobile region and local operators face several challenges in their efforts to expand network coverage on a cost-effective basis to unconnected populations.
According to the report, the implementation of commercially-agreed network sharing deals and ensuring the timely release of Digital Dividend spectrum will be important factors in achieving this goal.
“To fully realise the transformative potential of mobile in sub-Saharan Africa, the mobile industry requires a supportive regulatory framework that provides long-term stability and encourages investment,” added Bouverot.
“This includes the need for clear and transparent spectrum management processes, as well as tackling high levels of taxation in some markets. Addressing these issues will allow mobile to power a fresh wave of growth and innovation in this fast-developing region.”