By Sotunde Busayo
Evidence that Africa is undergoing an explosion of connectivity has been confirmed by the recent research report by Informa Telecoms & Media as it ranked Africa as the second most connected region in the world in terms of mobile subscription after Asia Pacific.
Africa moved from 4th position in 2010 to the second position this year with over 616 million mobile subscription at the end of September.
Informa Telecom & Media is the leading business intelligence & strategic services to the global telecom & media market. It aims to provide actionable strategies, advice and forecasting in all aspect of the music, mobile and entertainment market.
The research report indicated that Africa would retain its position as the second biggest regional mobile market by subscription for the next five years while the mobile subscription is expected to hit one billion in 2016.
According to Mattew Reed, the head of mobile research for the middle East and Africa at Informa Telecoms & Media “Africa’s mobile market is heading towards a major landmark as the number of mobile subscription on the continent will cross to one billion in 2016”
Population growth, strong competition among providers and the increasing affordability of mobile device explain Africa’s move-up in the regional mobile market ranking,Reed added.
Informa research also reported that Nigeria would continue to be Africa’s biggest mobile market subscription with a forecast of 152.09 million at the end of 2016, while Egypt and South Africa will follow by 118.03 million and 80.56 million subscriptions respectively.
Also, 3G (WCDMA) subscription and market share in Africa is predicted to grow strongly in coming years. The mobile market share held by WCDMA is forecasted to rise from 6.6% at the end of 2011 to 46% at the end of 2016,almost equalling GMS’s market share of 47.5% at the end of 2016.
Apart from this, the report survey view of Africa operators on customer loyalty found that 21.8% of respondents ranked customers retention 18.2% as the main priority while 18.2% it was customers acquisition and 60% said that customers acquisition and customer retention is relatively important. The implication of this is that for Africa to continue to maintain this status, retaining existing customer is now important.
However, there is a strong trend for Africa mobile subscribers to have SIM cards and consequently the number of unique users of mobile services on the continent is smaller than the number of subscriptions.
Analyst at Informa will be discussing this and other topics at Africa com event next week. Africa.com is Africa’s largest communication exhibition. For more information on the event please visit – http://africa.comworldseries.com